Angel Olsen has unveiled the gorgeous title track and its video from her new album, Big Time, out 3rd of June on Jagjaguwar. ‘Big Time‘ is a country-tinged love song, Olsen’s wonderful yet wistful melody and vocal holds warmth in its heart. The song’s epic and the life-affirming chorus is garnished with lap steel guitars and easy-going percussion, it’s like a great big hug first thing in the morning. The song’s cinematic video was directed once again by Kimberly Stuckwisch with choreography by Monika Felice Smith. Watch it below.
“For ‘Big Time,’ we set out to celebrate how humans identify and to subvert the old-fashioned gender binary and societal/internalized gender roles of the past through choreography, color, and wardrobe. To exist outside strict definitions is powerful and often not given a place in cinema. This was our chance to hold a positive reflection in the space and to shout to the world that you are more than who you are told to be.
‘Big Time’ is what happens when we do not express our true identity but find freedom when we step out of the shadows into our most authentic selves. In the first rotation, the lighting is drab, the clothes are monochromatic, the dance is monotonous . . . gender-conforming roles present. However, with each rotation, something magical happens, both our cast and Angel begin to come alive, to feel free. We see the clothes brighten, the dance heightens, and the bar that was once devoid of emotion can barely contain the joy bursting out of each individual.
I am proud to say that over 80% of our cast and 50% of our crew identified as nonbinary and non-gender conforming.” – Kimberly Stuckwisch
“Big Time was forged in a whiplash; the rare, fertile moments when both fresh grief and fresh love occur, when mourning and limerence heighten, complicate and explain each other. It’s an album about the expansive power of new love, written during the time Olsen was coming out as queer, and having her first experience of queer love and heartbreak. But this brightness and optimism is tempered by a profound and layered sense of loss; both of Olsen’s parents passed within weeks of each other, just after Olsen came out to them. Three weeks after her mother’s funeral she was in the studio, recording this incredibly wise and tender new album, Big Time.”
While her previous record, All Mirrors, was full of dramatic shifts and twists, here the surprises come in their simplicity—a slow swell of strings, instrumentation that cycles like a storm, or sparkling horns in a light-flooded break-up ballad. Big Time was recorded and mixed with co-producer Jonathan Wilson at his Fivestar Studios in Topanga, California. Drew Erickson played piano, organ, and handled string arrangements, and Olsen’s longtime bandmate, Emily Elhaj, played bass throughout.
As previously announced, every CD and LP copy of Big Time ordered directly from the label store will include an additional charge to offset the carbon emissions of each piece. Jagjaguwar, in partnership with Terra Lumina Consulting, calculated emissions and costs to achieve a carbon negative product for “cradle-to-grave” use of each physical piece: from the mining of materials, to pressing and shipping, to the electricity consumed by your stereo at home, to end of life disposal. Carbon offsets will be purchased through Native, supporting the Medford Spring Grassland project.
Later this year Olsen will head out on an autumn European tour which takes her around the UK including a stop at London’s O2 Academy Brixton in October. All shows are listed below. This summer, Olsen will embark on The Wild Hearts tour in the US alongside Sharon Van Etten, Julien Baker, and Spencer.
European tour dates:
26 Sep – Lisbon, PT @ Capitólio
27 Sep – Lisbon, PT @ Capitólio
29 Sep – Madrid, ES @ La Riviera
30 Sep – Barcelona, ES @ Sala Apolo
1 Oct – Lyon, FR @ L’ Epicerie Moderne
2 Oct – Zurich, CH @ Kaufleuten
4 Oct – Munich, DE @ Freiheitshalle
5 Oct – Vienna, AT @ WUK
6 Oct – Warsaw, PL @ Palladium
7 Oct – Berlin, DE @ Huxleys
9 Oct – Stockholm, SE @ Berns
10 Oct – Oslo, NO @ Rockefeller
11 Oct – Copenhagen, DK @ VEGA
13 Oct – Cologne, DE @ Gloria
14 Oct – Paris, FR @ Bataclan
15 Oct – Leuven, BE @ Het Depot
16 Oct – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
18 Oct – London @ O2 Academy Brixton
19 Oct – Bath @ The Forum
20 Oct – Edinburgh @ Usher Hall
21 Oct – Manchester @ Albert Hall
24 Oct – Dublin @ Vicar Street
Tickets are available here:
Photo credit: Angela Ricciardi