Forever Means – Angel Olsen (EP review)

On April 13th of this year, Angel Olsen released an EP entitled “Forever Means.” Beauty is bountiful in this EP, found everywhere from its slow and waltzy instrumental that swallows the listener to Olsen’s profound lyricism on love and gorgeous singing voice. The project is a down-tempo and emotional listen that runs just over 16 minutes, coalescing a sound found somewhere between Ghost Pop, Weyes Blood, the late Arctic Monkeys, and Lana Del Rey.

Track 1, “Nothing’s Free,” carefully draws the listener into this EP, each lyric, drum strike, and piano note delicately floating along into the audience. Next, the saxophone introduces itself with a flourish. Suddenly all the pieces come into place with the drop of a drum beat, and we’re levitating through the heavenly words of Angel Olsen. Along the tail end of the track, we’re blessed with glorious saxophone runs and choral organs that flow freely across the track, interchanging spotlights.

“Forever Means” stitches together what Olsen sees in the perils of love, capturing the spaces in between the indescribable. This song balances doubts with moments lost in the moments. As it descends down its 3 and a half minute runtime, we watch Olsen wipe away these doubts in favor of her captivation as “Forever in your eyes” repeats to the end of the track.

Track 3, “Time Bandits,” resonates with the depths of love and longing. The song gracefully dances forward, carried by gilded instrumentals that add a touch of elegance to Olsen’s evocative vocals. Throughout the track, she passionately expresses her yearning for her beloved. As the song nears its conclusion, a sense of desperation takes hold, underscored by Olsen’s repetition of a plea, “I need you,” until the very last note fades away, leaving a lingering impact on the listener’s heart.

Olsen opens “Holding On” as if she’s hiding something. She asks, “how much did you see?” A cascade of guitar and drums follow and adorn the track before a flurry of violin carries the track onward. Olsen’s powerful vocals rest atop the controlled yet exciting guitarwork, creating a mesmerizing blend. The lyrics delve into the complexities of relationships, specifically their coming and going. The song reflects on the inability to recognize the light and positivity brought by the other person until they are gone. It concludes with the realization that the absence of their presence is all that remains.

The instrumentation on this album is so diverse. I loved hearing a well-placed lyric about longing followed by a violin encircling the listener and a firework display of horns to finish off the moment. It was just a golden experience.

All in all, Forever Means immerses the listener in a world of introspection, love, and longing, drowning them in reverb while exposing them to the inner thoughts of a love-lusting artist and is a true testament to Angel Olsen’s mastery as a musician and storyteller.

Some artists you should check out if you like Angel Olsen:
Ghost Pop, Weyes Blood, Lana Del Ray, Arctic Monkeys, Cocteau Twins, and Francis Lung

Stream Forever Means below.

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