Angel Olsen's album "My Woman" was met with critical acclaim when it was released back in September 2016. It is an album professing the emotionally dangerous game of love while providing an open-chested exploration of the highs and lows of such an endeavour, while embracing both aspects with equal measure. The song 'Pops' is the final track of the album, a beautifully sombre piano ballad about dealing with the emotional fallout of a relationship while trying to maintain a friendship with them. It's unbearably raw in its catharsis, while the protagonist struggles to find sexual or emotional intimacy in other people while trying to pursue that belonging once more. The video finds Angel Olsen wandering through a desolate home, stripped bare of memory or personality while she sits at a piano. She shyly fiddles at the keys and hides her face from view, stands aimlessly in doorways with a mug in her hands, and wanders the grounds no longer with any purpose. Transitions occur between this vulnerable environment and are reflected in landscape shots of mist rolling over trees in a forest, which encompass her while she drives through it. It engulfs her in its embrace while she contemplates her meditative isolation.
Her wistful stares and occasional clutches of her long coat show someone reminiscing what they once had, all the while accepting the freedom of their lost partner to pursue they life they wish to lead. Forever taking the position of encouragement and warmth while her heart breaks, aware of how vulnerable they had been with them and living with the repercussions of her commitment. Angel Olsen only asks one thing in return: "Don't forget it's our song... I'll be the thing that lives in the dream when it's gone."
The combination of this heartbreaking ballad of startlingly self-reflexivity with this gorgeously paced video is a testament not only to the talent of Angel Olsen as a musician and lyricist, but as a visual artist (as she is credited as co-director for this as well as all the other videos released alongside this album). Her palette, pacing and composition enhances this shattering track to dizzying emotional heights. Angel Olsen bears all once again to incredibly profound effect.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.