Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Single of the Week: Angel Olsen - "Acrobat"

This is the second time I've blatantly ransacked a Pitchfork Best New Music track for my own Single of the Week feature, but whatever. When a track evokes such strong feelings of desperate hope and lovelorn curiousity as "Acrobat" does, it becomes a disservice not to recognise it. The opening track to Angel Olsen's second album Half Way Home, out now on Bathetic, does all these things by tugging at the line that seperates harmony and dissonance, played out through creeping yet comforting synthesizer, occasional guitar notes and the lower register of Olsen's extraordinary voice. The lyrical themes are perhaps more affecting, also using binaries to pattern the narrator's intricate feelings, including in the refrain: "I am alive / I thought that I'd died". Other lyrics capture the feeling of distance like some of the best of any unrequited love song; Olsen wishing to be merely "a bit like you" and "that distant thought, / Some growing meaning in yor mind", which in turn creates an interesting contrast with the unrestrained nature of the guitar and vocals. The only trrue reference to an "acrobat" in the song is the one that Olsen manages to survive these imbalanced ideas.

Angel Olsen - Acrobat (Official Music Video) from Toshadeva Palani on Vimeo.

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