American indie folk artist, Angel Olsen, debuted a new video last week for “Windows,” the lament that closes her 2014 album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness. The deluxe edition of the album, featuring five bonus tracks, was also released last week on Jagjaguwar.
For the video, Olsen collaborated with director Rick Alverson (who has previously worked with Sharon Van Etten and Bonnie “Prince” Billy), saying "I gave him total freedom to set the tone and I wanted only to be present within it. I wanted to make something cinematic and forward, and I believe he did that here."
Olsen’s motionless face haunts the video through homestead-set scenes that, like her lyrics, suggest a larger story without indulging in much narration. As the lustrous song expands into a dirge power ballad (is that a thing?), Olsen stares unflinchingly into an empty field as children paint her cheeks with petroleum jelly -- until they flee and she is transformed into a majestic, ruffed royal at a portrait studio. Or something. The meager lyrics imply a mournful desperation, open to shifting interpretations: “Why don’t you open a window sometime? / What’s so wrong with the light?”
No one really gets it, but, that voice. Dang.
Go see that face and hear that voice in person as she tours this winter:
Sat. Nov. 29 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall w/ Lionlimb
Mon. Dec. 1 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall w/ Kevin Morby
Tue. Dec. 2 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel - SOLO SHOW w/ Meg Baird
Wed. Dec. 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ Silent Movie Theatre (following AO-chosen screening of "Cleo from 5 to 7") - SOLO SHOW
Thu. Dec. 4 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre w/ Kevin Morby
Sat. Dec. 6 - Brooklyn, NY @ Roulette - SOLO SHOW w/ Jaye Bartell
Mon. Dec. 8 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom w/ Lionlimb
Tue. Dec. 9 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom w/ Lionlimb
Mon. Jan. 26 - Auckland, NZ @ Laneway Festival
Sat. Jan. 31 - Brisbane, AU @ Laneway Festival
Sun. Feb. 1 - Sydney, AU @ Laneway Festival
Tue. Feb. 3 - Sydney, AU @ Oxford Arts Factory
Wed. Feb. 4 - Melbourne, AU @ Howler
Fri. Feb. 6 - Adelaide, AU @ Laneway Festival
Sat. Feb. 7 - Melbourne, AU @ Laneway Festival
Sun. Feb. 8 - Fremantle, AU @ Laneway Festival
Images and video via Angel Olsen