New Release & Video: Angel Olsen – Waving, Smiling

Angel Olsen has unveiled ‘Waving, Smiling’, a new single from Whole New Mess, her forthcoming album out August 28th on Jagjaguwar, and first solo album since her 2012 debut.

In conjunction, Olsen presents an intimate live performance of the song shot by Ashley Connor at Asheville’s Masonic Temple – watch below….

Throughout ‘Waving, Smiling’, Olsen lays her feelings bare: “I’ve made my bed, made up of all my fears // all my fears cried out all of those years // cried out all of those years // Now baby I’m lying // Laid out and smiling.” When she hits the high, quavering notes of tender waltz, you can hear Olsen push against the lump in her throat, wrestling with the worry of her past and what it means for her future.

“‘Waving, Smiling’ in my head is the last scene, a slow motion realisation of love not lost but at peace somewhere within myself,” says Olsen. “It’s the bittersweet end of a chapter of my life – it is the final acceptance that despite coming to an end all of that time was not lost or wasted.”

Recorded in late October 2018, Whole New Mess is a vulnerable, emotional portrait that presents Olsen working through a period of personal tumult with just a few guitars and some microphones, isolated in Anacortes’ The Unknown. Although at least nine of the eleven songs on Whole New Mess should sound familiar to anyone who has heard Olsen’s 2019 masterpiece, All Mirrors, these are not demos.

Instead, Whole New Mess is its own record with its own immovable mood. If the lavish orchestral arrangements and cinematic scope of All Mirrors are the sound of Olsen preparing her scars for the wider world to see, Whole New Mess is the sound of her first figuring out their shape, making sense for herself of these injuries. It’s a poignant and pointed reminder that songs are more than mere collections of words, chords, and even melodies. They are webs of moods and moments and ideas, qualities that can change from one month to the next and can say just as much as the perfect progression or an exquisite chord. In that sense, these 11 songs—solitary, frank, and unflinching examinations of what it’s like to love, lose, and survive—are entirely new.

Additionally, Olsen recently announced Cosmic Stream 3, the third in her livestream series, which will air on the album’s release date and stream from the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater in Asheville, NC.


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