Angel Olsen has announced the release of a new box set entitled Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories. Featured in the new release are Olsen’s previous two albums, All Mirrors and Whole New Mess, as well as a new bonus LP featuring B-sides and rarities. On top of all that, a 40-page booklet featuring behind the scenes photos is also included. If you’re an Angel Olsen superfan (like certain individuals writing this article), it’s a treasure trove.
To celebrate, Olsen has released a new single from the bonus LP, ‘It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess),’ which is a reworked version of its parenthetical namesake. Starting off with just acoustic guitar, the arrangement starts to build to a folk-pop crescendo as booming drums and gentle trumpets steer the song into its triumphant conclusion.
A little housekeeping to paint the full picture: In 2019, Olsen releases her fourth album All Mirrors. In contrast to the folky sparseness of 2012’s Halfway Home and the indie rock of 2016’s MY WOMAN, All Mirrors is as close to a pop record as Olsen will probably ever make, featuring modern production touches and mostly electronica-based instrumentation. It sounds shiny and modern and gigantic. It’s great.
Less than a year later, a number of those songs appear on a new Olsen release, 2020’s Whole New Mess. This time, they’re stripped back to their bare essentials, which usually only consists of acoustic guitar and Olsen’s voice. It’s basically a demo album for All Mirrors, but those demos sound amazing. It’s a testament to Olsen that she can present the same song as either grandiose pop music or raw, unadorned folk and have it work both ways.
As Olsen describes in her press release, “It feels like part of my writing has come back from the past, and another part of it was waiting to exist.” That mashup of Old Hollywood glamour and new indie sensibilities is Olsen’s greatest asset. She’s an artist in and out of time, simultaneously of the moment and transcendent.
Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories is being limited to 3,000 physical copies. If you want to preorder the box set, you can do so right here. Check out the video for ‘It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess)’ down below.
And if you want a little bonus footage, here’s Olsen unpacking the new box set.