Today’s Song: Angel Olsen’s “Sister” Epitomizes the Passionate Realizations of Human Desire

Angel Olsen © 2016

Back in September of this year, indie rock singer Angel Olsen released her third studio album titled My Woman (9/2/2016 via JagJaguwar) which received well-raved reviews from critics alike. One of the most profoundly captivating tracks on the album is the ballad “Sister” which exudes ghostly and vintage inspired vocals wrapped in very relatable, complicated human truths of hauntingly beautiful, dark, melodic layered confessions.

Watch: “Sister” – Angel Olsen


The song starts off as a soft, subtle, lonely and dreamy story of pessimism turned a more optimistic outlook in a state of an epiphany stemming from a dim and hopeless situation. She expresses her realization through her pretty yet bold vintage singing style that can be compared similarly to the likes of Stevie Nicks.

Saw it in her eyes
Oh, it wasn’t what she said
She came together like a dream
That I didn’t know I had
From the sleeping life I lead
All the colors I have seen
I can’t help but recognize
The brighter one in front of me
All the truth I thought I learned
And then it finally came along
Turned around and then it’s there
All the love I thought was gone

She then turns to an act of desperation by confessing burning desires and universal truths we can all relate to. We’ve all felt the desire thrive with reassurance of our fate, love and happiness. Just as you think she is about to give up and cut to the next verse, she uniquely rambles on in a gentle but epic continuation. You can feel the passion within her misery.

I want to know you
I want to show you
I want to be there
I want to see her
Piece us together
Know it’s forever
Show me the future
Tell me you’ll be there
I want to go where
Nobody knows fear
I want to follow
My heart down that wild road
Angel Olsen © Amanda Marsalis

Angel Olsen © Amanda Marsalis

The next verse adds to the ongoing interpersonal confessions while also highlighting the also continuing, evolving carelessness with, “And all this blessing was a curse before I opened up my heart. You learn to take it as it comes. You fall together, fall apart.” It’s the ever-changing cycle of life, from despairing challenges to joyous times. But the assertive act in itself of pushing fear away is extraordinarily liberating.

The song is almost 8 minutes of pure aesthetic heaven. And when the instrumentation picks up towards the end, it not only compliments but competes with the direct intensity of the song. The listener is taken on a journey of a mind pattern drowning in emotions and thoughts, with only to have the ending repeated in a stunning exit line over and over “All my life I thought I’d change.” The ending still doesn’t give up though with versatile singing styles, reminiscent of vintage meets dream-pop. Angel Olsen delivers a stunning long lasting impression until the very last second while expressing a combination of human loneliness, wavy thought patterns, desires and revelations that is sure to suffice the soundtrack of the soul.

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cover: Angel Olsen © 2016

My Woman – Angel Olsen

My Woman - Angel Olsen

My Woman – Angel Olsen

Kim Massuch is a former paralegal, lifelong music enthusiast, indie/horror movie addict, flea market/antique explorer, and professional diaper changer.