After the release of her last project, 2020’s Whole New Mess, Angel Olsen came out to her parents as queer. Olsen’s mother would finally meet her partner at her father’s funeral, three days later. Within a month, Olsen and her partner would attend her mother’s funeral.
In Olsen’s world, one’s interpersonal relationships are not so different from their temporal relation to the world around them. Big Time, the sixth album from the Missouri singer-songwriter, finds her found-again twang exploring the minutes, weeks, and years it takes to grow into oneself. Not unlike hours in a day, she finds that the enduring wait-times and immediacy of Love and Death meet where the other ends. While it builds on the intimacy of Whole New Mess and genre-agnostic art-pop sensibilities of All Mirrors (2019), Big Time is ultimately a return to Olsen’s roots in country and folk. It’s at once an evolution and a return to form, an artist coming full circle.
Big Time is Olsen’s most human record, the title being less of a declaration than a reserved acceptance. Mortality, the workings of the heart, the world at large — these things move on and forward, often back unto themselves. So too shall Olsen.