Author: Seth Stevens

The Magical, Angel Olson’s newest album, “Phases”

By: Seth Stevens There is a certain magic in the ability to expand and withdraw at the same time. It is to be the ocean, vast and infinite, and still move back from the shore. A successful life is to manage this contradiction, to be powerful and vulnerable, to trust yourself and to trust beyond yourself, to open and close simultaneously. Angel Olsen’s new LP of B-sides, demos, and covers maintains this quality. The very nature of Phases makes it erratic, a collection of songs from a collection of years, bridging the gap between 2014’s Burn Your Fire for...

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Julie Byrne’s, “Not Even Happiness”, Deserves Your Attention

By: Seth Stevens “I was made for the green, made to be alone.” When Julie Byrne sings these words on the opening track of Not Even Happiness, you believe her. It takes no convincing. Her voice stands alone between the finger picking of her guitar, a buoy for her melancholy. Byrne’s second record is one steady, self-assured moment of that melancholy caught in 32 short minutes, and all of it deserves your attention. I say ‘deserves’ instead of ‘demands’ — Byrne does not demand anything. She’s grappled with her demons (sometimes she won, sometimes they did); now she stands,...

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