“Whole New Mess” by Angel Olsen Review

Panic is a (typically) non-lethal form of paralysis, and Angel Olsen knows its symptoms well. In “Whole New Mess”, the title track on his upcoming album, he embodies the lead immobility that keeps the bed sick with love. All new mess is Olsen’s first LP recorded without a support band since 2012 Half Way Home, and the simple elegance of his electric guitar is a strong argument for his new solitude.

Olsen’s strumming sounds drowsy and mist-soaked, forming the perfect atmosphere for his slow doo-wop dance as they slowly spin and dive into minor chords. Her aerial soprano offers relief from the deformed influence of her instrument, but the words she sings take her back to the ground. “I stretch my bones on the floor,” he admits, before offering a false promise to get up and “really make the change.” The change, as Olsen repeats, is “get back to normal,” a task that you cannot run today but will try at a later date. Procrastination becomes Olsen’s crutch, hoping that tomorrow will be the start of better days. For Olsen, however, recovery is a temporary state. When the time comes, she will “make a whole new mess” and recline in stasis of heart pain once again.