American folk hero Angel Olsen has previewed another new track from her upcoming box set Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories, the intimate and wonderfully paradoxical ‘Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling)’.
Olsen is an artist I’ve raved about before, specifically with regard to this particular upcoming box set. The truth is that she is one of the most thoughtful, engaging, lyrically apt, musically interesting artists of the modern day.
She’s the type of artist who has an album for any particular mood or setting. The bare-bones lo-fi folk of Burn Your Fires For No Witness, the almost country-like twang of Half Way Home, the live energetic rush of Phases, the indie rock burn of MY WOMAN, the symphonic pop of All Mirrors, or the personal devastation of Whole New Mess. Whatever state of emotional turmoil you might find yourself engaged in, there’s a pretty good chance that Olsen has written a song about the way you feel.
Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories gathers the latter two albums mentioned above, as well as a bonus LP Far Memory and a 40-page booklet giving an inside look to the sessions that birthed all three albums. A testament to Olsen’s seemingly bottomless well of material, Song of the Lark is going to be essential listening for any major fan. I’ve already preordered it.
‘Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling)’ takes more after the material on All Mirrors, with intricate swelling strings and polished vocals about living with the choices you may or may not have come to regret. It’s a slow-burning, achingly bittersweet song that would be a highlight in any other artist’s catalogue. Instead, it’s an outtake for Olsen. That’s the kind of roll she’s been on over the past decade.
Take a listen to the audio for ‘Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling)’ down below. Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories will be released on May 7th, and you can pre-order it here.