The best new releases and classic re-issues on vinyl
A year down the line from the release of her spectacular third album ‘My Woman’, singular songwriter Angel Olsen is staving off her legions of new fans with a collection of unreleased material and rarities made since the release of her debut EP, 2010’s ‘Strange Cacti’. ‘Phases’ is a gentle but solid thing, a quiet record that speaks loudly and encompasses the past 80 years of music, from the 1930s Americana of the Carter Family and 1950s doo-wop through to 1960s Laurel Canyon singer-songwriterism, 1970s outlaw country and early 2000s anti-folk. Like Cat Power before her, the North Carolina-based Olsen’s take on folk music is intensely intimate and there are moments on ‘Phases’ where you feel like it’s just the two of you alone in a room as she croons the timeless, stripped back likes of ‘For You’, ‘May As Well’ and a hushed cover of Bruce Springsteen’s 1987 ‘Tougher Than The Rest’, accompanied only by acoustic guitar, perfectly suited to the Boss’s heartland rocking melancholy. It’s this same sadness that Lana Del Rey channels, but stripped of the Hollywood gloss and directed by an eager media studies student instead of David Lynch.