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(Credit: Taylor Boylston)


Angel Olsen announces new 1980s covers EP


In what is assuredly the best news I’ve heard all day, American folk singer-songwriter Angel Olsen is saying to hell with all that emotional and introspective original crap: I wanna party like it’s 1984!

And she’s doing just that. Olsen has announced a new EP, Aisles, full of some classic ’80s songs from Billy Idol, OMD, Laura Branigan, Alphaville, and Men Without Hats. That’s right, Olsen is finally giving the world what they’ve been clamouring for: her interpretation of ‘The Safety Dance’.

“I know it’s not really in my history to do something unintentional or just for the hell of it, but my connection to these songs is pretty straightforward, I just wanted to have a little fun and be a little more spontaneous, and I think I needed to remember that I could!” Olsen explains in a statement.

“I needed to laugh and have fun and be a little less serious about the recording process in general,” she says. “I thought about completely changing some of the songs and turning them inside out.”

The first song she decided to turn inside out is Laura Branigan’s monster synth-pop hit ‘Gloria’. “I’d heard ‘Gloria’ for the first time at a family Christmas gathering and was amazed at all the aunts who got up to dance,” Olsen explains. “I imagined them all dancing and laughing in slow motion, and that’s when I got the idea to slow the entire song down and try it out in this way.”

Olsen’s version of ‘Gloria’ is more in line with her typical style: dramatic and noir-like, with waves of synths and echo for days that contrasts the exuberant bounce of the original. It’s all well and good, but here’s hoping that her takes on ‘If You Leave’ and ‘The Safety Dance’ are a little less morose. Loosen up, Angel! Have some fun! You’ve earned it!

Check out Olsen’s cover of ‘Gloria’ down below. Aisles is set for an August 20 release on her new somethingscosmic imprint.

Aisles EP track listing:

  1. ‘Gloria’ (Laura Branigan cover)
  2. ‘Eyes Without a Face’ (Billy Idol cover)
  3. ‘The Safety Dance’ (Men Without Hats cover)
  4. ‘If You Leave’ (Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark cover)
  5. ‘Forever Young’ (Alphaville cover)