Angel Olsen delivered the shimmering and immaculately-produced album All Mirrors last year. For the album, the singer turned her sound up a notch, replacing an acoustic guitar with synths and keyboards. Now, Olsen is pivoting back to her back catalog with her upcoming record Whole New Mess. After announcing the album with the title track, Olsen offers another glimpse of the project with the vulnerable “Waving, Smiling.”
Armed with just her guitar and lilting vocals, Olsen croons a reflection on coming to terms with the end of a relationship. The singer has mourned and cried over the loss, now it’s time to smile and accept the relationship has come a close. “I’ve made my bed / I’ve laid out all those tears,” she sings.
In a statement alongside the track’s release, Olsen said she envisions the song as the conclusion to an important chapter in her life:
“‘Waving, Smiling’ in my head is the last scene, a slow motion realization of love not lost but at peace somewhere within myself. It’s the bittersweet end of a chapter of my life – it is the final acceptance that despite coming to an end all of that time was not lost or wasted.”
About the album as a whole, Olsen described the events which inspired the new release: “I had gone through this breakup, but it was so much bigger than that — I’d lost friendships, too. When you get out of a relationship, you have to examine who you are or were in all the relationships. I wanted to record when I was still processing these feelings. These are the personal takes, encapsulated in a moment.”
Listen to Olsen’s “Waving, Smiling” above.
Whole New Mess is out 8/28 via Jagjaguwar. Pre-order it here.