by William Kosh
Like many of us in the creative field, Angel Olsen moved to Chicago to make it. After arriving from her native St. Louis, she endeared herself to the local music scene performing in a number of bands and went to Harold Washington Library to play the pianos. Her first album, Half Way Home, sounded like a lonely message from another world. It was well received, but apparently Olsen was eager enough to avoid being pigeonholed as a neo-folk nymphet that she has since instituted a policy of never having her picture taken under or near trees. If Olsen was reading Kierkegaard before, she seems to have since taken to Jack Kerouac since. Her new album, My Woman, features straight-up rock and roll songs that could have played on early ‘60s AM radio. There’s an interesting reading of the album’s centerpiece, “Shut Up Kiss Me”, that interprets the song’s bridge as a glimpse into a mind flirting with manic co-dependence.