A record that’s testament to going through hell and coming out the other side, and one that confirms its author as one of the foremost singer-songwriters of her generation Angel Olsen has always been a songwriter who has worn her heart on her sleeve and for her sixth album, Big Time, she’s had more than enough material to draw upon. Olsen has experienced some flux in her personal life of late – breaking up with her partner, then coming out as gay, and then sadly losing both of her parents within weeks of each other. So, as you might expect, Big Time draws on all those recent experiences to make it an emotional listen.
In April 2021 she announced to the world, in as plain terms as possible, "I'm gay!" What we weren't privy to though was the loss that came in the wake of a new romance - four days after her announcement, her father passed away. By the end of the year, her mother had joined him. That's a hell of a lot for a person to bear and every bit of it is here in the music.
Angel Olsen has lived a tumultuous life over the past two years, perhaps more than most. In April 2021, she came out as gay and introduced her partner to her parents and to her fans via Instagram. Shortly after, her mother passed away--two months later, so did her father. Olsen was set to begin recording Big Time three weeks after her mother's death, and "wasn't in a very good state to continue writing," she shared on her Instagram in April of this year.
Peaks and valleys
Angel Olsen's previous album, 2019's All Mirrors, sounds like a million bucks, as the expression goes. A glistening slab of art pop, it shimmers and glows brightly in a wonderful array of gorgeous hues. But, and this is a vitally important "but", it never quite connected with me. The songs might be individually stunning, but they never managed to resonate on a personal level.
After everything that could go wrong does, there's finally that moment of respite that allows for gathering one's thoughts without feeling that overwhelmed. Big Time, Angel Olsen's sixth LP, comes from a place of cleansing and healing—on which she aims to feel a little bit better after experiencing the nagging burden of grief. Olsen doesn't turn away from the difficult situations that led her to this moment, gratified to have overcome them while embracing the inevitable growth that begins to take root.
"I'm loving you big time", Angel Olsen declares on her latest record, 'Big Time'. It's a liberating proclamation of love in a field of overgrowing loss for the musician. After years of grappling with her sexuality, Olsen came out to her parents, where her father passed three days later; shortly afterwards, so did her mother. During the pandemic, she had also experienced her first queer breakup, and went on to find love with her current partner, Beau Thibodeaux.