Olsen also shared the album’s title track, accompanied by a video directed by Ashley Connor, her frequent collaborator who previously worked on “Lark.” Olsen appears in the clip standing outside in a striking blazer as lights flash across her face in the darkness. “Won’t be long now before it’s really showing/It’s every season where it is I’m going,” she sings over sparse guitar. “I stretch my bones out on the floor/I think I’ll really do the change.”
More from Rolling Stone
- Watch Angel Olsen Perform an Intimate 'Whole New Mess' on 'Fallon'
- Watch Angel Olsen Perform 'Chance,' 'Summer' on 'Kimmel'
- Angel Olsen on Her Dazzling New LP, Becoming a Crazy Cat Lady
“The reality is that artists are often never home so health, clear-mindedness and grounding is hard to come by,” Olsen said in a statement. “The song is a mental note to try to stay sane, keep healthy, remember to breathe wherever I happen to be because there is no saving it for back home.”
Whole New Mess marks Olsen’s first fully solo album since her 2012 debut, Half Way Home. Nine of the songs (“Lark,” “Chance”) appeared on All Mirrors, but Whole New Mess features the tracks stripped of the previous album’s orchestration, leaving just Olsen and her guitar.
“I had gone through this breakup, but it was so much bigger than that — I’d lost friendships, too,” Olsen said. “When you get out of a relationship, you have to examine who you are or were in all the relationships. I wanted to record when I was still processing these feelings. These are the personal takes, encapsulated in a moment.”
The album was recorded at the Unknown, a Catholic church converted into a studio in Anacortes, Washington. “I hadn’t been to the Unknown, but I knew about its energy,” Olsen said. “I wanted to go sit with the material and be with it in a way that felt like a residency. I didn’t need a lot since it was just me and a guitar. But I wanted someone else there to hold me accountable for trying different things.”
Whole New Mess is available for preorder here.
Whole New Mess Tracklist
1. Whole New Mess
2. Too Easy (Bigger Than Us)
3. (New Love) Cassette
4. (We Are All Mirrors)
5. (Summer Song)
6. Waving, Smiling
7. Tonight (Without You)
8. Lark Song
9. Impasse (Workin’ for the Name)
10. Chance (Forever Love)
11. What It Is (What It Is)
See where your favorite artists and songs rank on the Rolling Stone Charts.