Angel Olsen

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Angel Olsen
Olsen performing in 2017
Background information
Born (1987-01-22) 22 January 1987 (age 31)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active2009–present
Associated acts

Angel Olsen (born January 22, 1987) is an American singer-songwriter and musician from St. Louis, Missouri[4][5] who currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina.[6] She recorded and toured as a backing singer with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang,[7] before embarking on her own career.


At age three, Olsen was adopted by a foster family that had cared for her since shortly after her birth. The difference in years between her and her parents left an impression. "Because there are so many decades of difference between us, I became more interested in what their childhood was like," she says of her parents, both of whom still live in St. Louis. "I fantasized about what it was like to be young in the ’30s and ’50s, more so than other kids my age."[6] Olsen explained that "my mother just has this capacity for children."[6] Despite early adolescent aspirations to be a "pop star", her interests later shifted in high school. Olsen became more introverted, regularly attending punk rock and noise music shows at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center and the Creepy Crawl as well as Christian rock shows throughout the city.[8] She began learning the piano and guitar and writing her own music.[6] Two years after graduating from Tower Grove Christian High School, Olsen moved to Chicago.[8]

After releasing her first EP, Strange Cacti,[9] and a debut album, Half Way Home,[10] on Bathetic Records, Olsen signed with Jagjaguwar,[11] ahead of her first full-band record, Burn Your Fire for No Witness,[12] which was released on February 17, 2014.[13][14] Olsen's third full-length album, My Woman, was released on September 2, 2016.[15][16]

In addition to her work with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and The Cairo Gang, Olsen has collaborated with a number of other notable figures of American indie rock, including Tim Kinsella of Cap'n Jazz, LeRoy Bach of Wilco and Cass Mccombs.[17] Her collaboration with Kinsella and Bach, as well as with Chicago poet Marvin Tate, resulted in the album "Tim Kinsella sings the songs of Marvin Tate by LeRoy Bach featuring Angel Olsen," which the group released on Indianapolis label Joyful Noise Recordings on December 3, 2013.[17]

Her song "Windows" was featured in the final episode of the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why.



Studio LPs

  • Half Way Home (LP edition) Sept 2012, Bathetic Records.
  • Burn Your Fire for No Witness (CD/LP/Cassette) February 2014, Jagjaguwar (for cd/lp) and Bathetic (limited cassette pressing)
  • My Woman September 2016, Jagjaguwar. (UK #40)

Studio EP


  • Strange Cacti (Debut Cassette), July 2010, Bathetic Records.
  • Lady Of The Waterpark (Covers Cassette), September 2010, Love Lion Records.


  • Sleepwalker (7", "Sweet Dreams"/"California") January 2013, Sixteen Tambourines.
  • Intern (Single) June 2016, Jagjaguwar.


With Bonnie "Prince" Billy[edit]

  • Island Brothers (Vinyl 10"), February 2011, Drag City Records.
  • "Wolfroy Goes to Town" (CD/LP), October 2011, Drag City Records.
  • "Now Here's My Plan" (CD/LP), July 2012, Drag City Records.

Other contributions[edit]

  • Tim Kinsella Sings the Songs of Marvin Tate by LeRoy Bach featuring Angel Olsen (LP) December 2013, Joyful Noise Recordings.[19]
  • "Attics of My Life" for the 2016 Grateful Dead compilation album Day of the Dead.
  • "Fly on Your Wall" for the 2017 anti-Trump compilation Our First 100 Days.[20]
  • "Stranger's Kiss" duet with Alex Cameron on his album Forced Witness (2017)
  • "Red Rocks" on the album No River Long Enough Doesn't Contain a Bend (2017) by High Aura'd
  • "Safe in the Car" on the Album "Heaven/Hell" (2018) by Jeff Ament [21]


  1. ^ Thomas, Fred. "Angel Olsen biography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  2. ^ Donelson, Marcy. "My Woman – Angel Olsen". AllMusic. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Todd, Bella (August 29, 2016). "Angel Olsen: indie's dark star tackles 'the complicated mess of being a woman'". The Guardian. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Angel Olsen Playlist - Adding Some Glam To The Gloom". Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  5. ^ Paul Lester. "Angel Olsen (New band of the day No 1,676) | Music". Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  6. ^ a b c d Bevan, David (March 24, 2014). "Angel Olsen Will Be Heard". Spin. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  7. ^ Powell, Mike (October 10, 2011). "Interviews: Will Oldham". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  8. ^ a b Appelstein, Mike. "Angel Among Us: An Oral History of Angel Olsen's Time In St. Louis". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  9. ^ "Strange Cacti 12 EP". Bathetic Records. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  10. ^ "Half Way Home". Bathetic Records. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  11. ^ "Angel Olsen". Jagjaguwar. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  12. ^ Zoladz, Lindsay (February 17, 2014). "Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire for No Witness Album Review". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  13. ^ "Angel Olsen Breaks Down Her Smoldering New Jagjaguwar Debut". Billboard. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  14. ^ Fred Thomas. "Burn Your Fire for No Witness - Angel Olsen | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  15. ^ Pearce, Sheldon; Monroe, Jazz (June 6, 2016). "Angel Olsen Announces New Album My Woman | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  16. ^ Dolanon, Ciara (August 31, 2016). "Album Review: Angel Olsen – My Woman". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  17. ^ a b Joyful Noise Recordings. "Tim Kinsella sings the songs of Marvin Tate by LeRoy Bach featuring Angel Olsen". Joyful Noise Recordings. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
  18. ^ "Angel Olsen announces career-spanning rarities compilation, shares unreleased track 'Special'". The 405. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  19. ^ Fred Thomas. "Tim Kinsella Sings the Songs of Marvin Tate by LeRoy Bach". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
  20. ^ "Our First 100 Days". Bandcamp. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  21. ^ "New Single By Ament". Ten Club. Retrieved 2018-04-10.

External links[edit]