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Angel Olsen @ Union Transfer with Alex Cameron.

September 21, 2016


Text by Migs Kaufman. Images by Grace Dickinson.

The crowd jammed into Union Transfer last week for a sold out show with Angel Olsen, who recently released her genre-bending (and soon to be classic) album My Woman.

As the crowd eagerly awaited Olsen, they were treated to the 80s-tinged sounds of Alex Cameron, who pranced and grooved in a velvet suit with a saxophonist by his side, straight from the Newark Airport to the stage. Cameron wooed the audience with his slicked back hair and even slicker music as the venue slowly filled to the brim with people.

Soon after, Olsen and her band strutted onto the stage in matching cowboy attire and blasted straight through three songs before saying a word to the crowd, letting the music speak for itself. She then blurt out, “That was fun.”

She is touring to support her most daring album yet, full of breathtaking wails, prickling guitar licks and many songs surpassing 5 minutes. These are not simple folk tunes. But the band kept it cool, hitting every note flawlessly, with Olsen as their fearless leader.

While the band had fun on stage, the crowd stood awestruck, barely able to move as they admired Olsen, who discussed greasy food and beer one minute and belted out “all my life I thought I’d change” from “Sister” the next.

After a strong set, the band returned for an encore of “Intern,” straight into a seven-minute psychedelic jam of “Woman,” giving Olsen a chance to really show off her chops as she hit every haunting high note.

I first heard Angel Olsen when I was going through a big change in my life, moving from New York to the City of Brotherly Love and worrying I wasn’t making the best move. It was both terrifying and exciting all at once – a new chapter in my life. And Olsen was the soundtrack. Maybe because of this, Olsen’s music always brings about memories of change, of something big about to happen.

But maybe that’s just her music, evoking a strange and powerful sense that something big is coming and you better be ready for it.

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