Colour Vinyl: Pink
Fresh grief, like fresh love, has a way of sharpening our vision and bringing on painful clarifications. No matter how temporary we know these states to be, the vulnerability and transformation they demand can overpower the strongest among us. Then there are the rare, fertile moments when both occur, when mourning and limerence heighten, complicate and explain each other; the songs that comprise Angel Olsen's "Big Time" were forged in such a whiplash. "I can't say that I'm sorry/when I don't feel so wrong anymore", the record begins, her voice softer and more open than ever, as if she's singing through a hard won smile. "Big Time" is an album about the expansive power of new love, but this brightness and optimism is tempered by a profound and layered sense of loss. During Olsen's process of coming to terms with her queerness and confronting the traumas that had been keeping her from fully accepting herself, she felt it was time to come out to her parents, a hurdle she'd been avoiding for some time. After that tearful but relieving conversation, she celebrated with her partner, their friends, oysters, and wine. Three days later, her father died; his funeral became the occasion for Olsen to introduce her partner to her family. Only two weeks later Olsen got the call that her mother was in the ER. Hospice came soon after, and a second funeral came quickly on the heels of the first. The shards of this grief - the shortening of her chance to finally be seen more fully by her parents - are scattered throughout the album.