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Angel Olsen Goes “Big Time” Country on New Song: Stream

The title track from her new album dropping June 3rd

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Angel Olsen, photo by Angela Ricciardi
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    Angel Olsen isn’t just dabbling in classic country tropes, she’s embracing her inner Patsy Cline on “Big Time,” the title track from her upcoming album of the same name.

    “Big Time” is full of golden era country references, from the dignified warble of a pedal steel guitar, to a keyboard that sounds like the kind of tack piano that used to squawk through honky tonk bars. The lyrics are full to the 10-gallon-brim with yearning, but it’s a playful yearn, horny to suite a Saturday night but still chaste enough for Sunday morning.

    “And I’m living, I’m loving, I’ve loved long before,” Olsen coos. “I’m loving you big time, I’m loving you more.”

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    The song comes with a music video directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch. It shows Olsen performing in a wood-paneled dancehall, with a rotating camera that plays with the lights in a way that recalls Robert Altman’s Nashville. But the intentions were far from backwards-looking, as Stuckwisch explained in a statement:

    “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.”

    Check out “Big Time” below. As for the album Big Time, it’s out June 3rd via Jagjaguwar, and pre-orders are ongoing. You’ll probably be able to hear those songs on Olsen’s upcoming “The Wild Hearts Tour” with Sharon Van Etten and Julien Baker. Tickets are available here.

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