Angel Olsen Releases the Casually Epic 8.5-Minute Song/Video, “Sister”

Angel Olsen’s first two singles from her upcoming album My Woman were both brief, and oppositionally great. On “Intern,” Olsen’s synthy fugue state of a song, she uneasily considered her relationship to perceptions of her and then drastically shifted to romance, ending with the ironically breathless, half-hearted conviction, “Pick up the phone but I swear it’s the last time.” On the explosively grungy “Shut Up Kiss Me,” she had real resolve, and it was aimed outwards: she wasn’t going to “hang up” the phone, and she was going to command a relationship, with the imperative, “Shut up, kiss me, hold me tight.” Now, her third release offers something long enough to straddle both moods: “Sister” begins in languorous contemplation that leads toward explosive revelation, all drawn out over the course of eight minutes. According to a press release, the album “is put together as a proper A-side and B-side with the punchier numbers up front, and the longer, more reflective songs towards the end;” “Sister,” of course, belongs in the latter category.

The music video that accompanies — the third self-directed video from the LP, though this one was co-directed with Conor Hagen — is fitting, if un-distractingly pleasant. It follows Olsen as she has a very nice experience at what looks to be the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market, walks away and has another very nice experience eating fruit from said farmer’s market, then wanders out to Joshua Tree and sits on a rock, then ends up in the pool, hitting all the marks on the stereotypical blissed-out-L.A.-resident checklist. (Though Olsen, herself, lives in Asheville, NC.) Hagen said of the video:

The song is lyrically contradictory, so we wanted to show those opposing dualities. The contrast between a wide shot and a close-up, the duality between the city and that natural world, joy and melancholy.

Listen/watch:

My Woman will be out on September 2, via Jagjaguwar.