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Music

Angel Olsen discusses making her new album at Neil Young's studio

Angel Olsen recently joined Matt Wilkinson’s show on Apple Music 1 to discuss her brand new album, Big Time. Throughout the conversation, Olsen also explains the influence of film on her career and the experience she had recording in Neil Young’s studio. 

“I think it’s part of my way of processing,” Olsen said while considering film as a medium. “And whenever I’m going through a hard time or going through a lot of change, I tend to dream more than other times. A lot of my music videos are really based on dreams I’ve had or vivid imagery that I think of when I’m writing. If I weren’t for music, I’d probably be making films. Not acting in them. There is some acting in what I’m doing now, but at least I get control of the edit at the end of the day.”

Later in the interview, Olsen was asked what it was like to be able to record her new album in Neil Young’s studio in Colorado. “Well, it’s what you would imagine Neil Young’s studio being like, you know? So it was just kind of the perfect setting,” she said. “And I had been listening to a lot of Neil Young. It was so beautiful. You walk out of this wooden panelled studio in the canyon and go outside, and there’s a picnic table and trees. And there’s a little bridge where water comes through, and there’s just a beautiful hillside behind the whole thing.”

Olsen continued: “I think that the environment really helped make the experience of recording this flow more for me and for everyone. The idea of going to the beach every day before going to the studio sounded really nice. That doesn’t always sound nice. Sometimes I’m really ready to work and be in a box and not see anyone. But for these songs, I really thought they’re so simple and so straightforward. It was really about just recording them the right way and making sure we didn’t overdo it.”

Toward the end of the conversation, Olsen observed that her deep and meaningful music seems to connect with her fans and that some people tell her that the music has helped them through tough times. 

“It wouldn’t be the first time that fans would come up to me and talk to me about that,” Olsen opined. “I also was talking earlier today and just wondering, I wonder what people think about me or how I spend my time just based on my work. They think I just walk around thinking sad things all the time. It just so happens that it’s really easy to talk about the hard stuff because that’s the stuff that is relatable. You know? People can relate really easily to that. So on this record, I was trying to challenge myself to write more about feeling a sense of calm and feeling in love, taking the risk of writing simpler, structured songs.”

Angel Olsen’s new album, Big Time, was released on June 3rd and is now available across major streaming platforms. Listen to the album’s eponymous hit below.