If you draw a Venn diagram of “cool indie music” and “earnest folk music,” Angel Olsen falls right in the middle. The St. Louis native’s sophomore album, “My Woman,” has a bouncy energy that is infectious.
Olsen came to Studio 360 to play a few songs from her latest record and talk with Kurt Andersen about how she goes about writing music — and the ‘90s pop song that blew her mind in middle school.
Kurt Andersen: When people write their own songs and sing them, there’s a temptation to think it’s a direct expression of this person’s soul. That obviously isn’t always the case, and it seems like it’s maybe even less the case with you — that these are characters you’re creating, like a fiction writer rather than a memoirist.
Angel Olsen: That’s definitely the goal, that I’m not taking myself too seriously while also not being afraid of being sincere when I want to be sincere. Don’t be afraid to be a character while also being genuine. Make fun of yourself, but be sincere. Be able to be both.
I read that you turned down $100,000 from a retail chain who wanted to use a song of yours. Why did you do that?
Well you know, I’m not against doing that. I just feel like, why do you have to give it all away all at once? That’s the beginning of your career. You could take the money and run, you could take it and donate it to charity, but I just felt like it would be a big statement to make early on in my career.
Bonus Track: Angel Olsen plays "Those Were the Days" live in Studio 360
Hi-FiveArtist: Angel OlsenAlbum: Hi-FiveLabel: Jagjaguwar
Shut Up Kiss MeArtist: Angel OlsenAlbum: My Woman
Heart Shaped FaceArtist: Angel OlsenAlbum: My Woman
Give It UpArtist: Angel OlsenAlbum: My Woman