Angel Olsen reinvents 80s classic ‘Gloria’ for new EP

Angel Olsen

Musician Angel Olsen has a new EP on the way where she takes on some of the biggest songs of the 1980s.

The Aisles EP is the first release on her new Jagjaguwar imprint something cosmic and will be out on 20th August.

“I know it’s not really in my history to do something unintentional or just for the hell of it, but my connection to these songs is pretty straightforward, I just wanted to have a little fun and be a little more spontaneous, and I think I needed to remember that I could!” Olsen said of her new EP.

Aisles was recorded in the winter of 2020 at Asheville’s Drop of Sun Studios with co-producer and engineer Adam McDaniel.

“I told Adam I had an idea to record some covers and bring some of the band into the mix, or add other players. I needed to laugh and have fun and be a little less serious about the recording process in general,” Olsen said.

“I thought about completely changing some of the songs and turning them inside out. I’d come over to find Adam had set up 5 or so synthesisers, and we’d get lost on a part for a while messing with some obscure pedal I knew nothing about. We’d spend a good amount of time going through sounds before finding one or two, sometimes we’d get real weird and decide to just go with it.”

Olsen describes the songs as tunes you hear while you’re in a supermarket doing your weekly shopping, hence the EP’s title Aisles. 

On the new offering Olsen performs Eyes Without a Face originally by Billy Idol, Men Without Hat’s The Safety Dance, OMD’s If You Leave and Alphaville’s Forever Young.

The first track released from the EP is a surprisingly different take on the song Gloria, which was a massive hit for Laura Branigan in 1982.

The song was written and first performed by Italian singer Umberto Tozzi in 1979, and it was a hit in Europe. The song was translated into English and recorded by British performer Jonathan King. When Brangian recorded the song she re-wrote the lyrics alongside Trevor Veitch.    

Olsen reinvents the song by switching it from a hi-NRG power jam to a laidback and slow rendition.

“I’d heard ‘Gloria’ for the first time at a family Christmas gathering and was amazed at all the aunts who got up to dance. I imagined them all dancing and laughing in slow motion, and that’s when I got the idea to slow the entire song down and try it out in this way.” Olsen said.

So far Angel Olsen has released five studio albums. Half Way Home (2012), Burn Your Fire for No Witness (2014), My Woman (2016), All Mirrors (2019) and Whole New Mess (2020).

She’s also collaborated with Sharon Van Etten, Cass McCombs, LeRoy Back of US band Wilco and producer Mark Ronson.

In April this year the musician shared that she is gay. She had been scheduled to tour Australia in 2020 but the tour was sadly cancelled, she is expected to return in 2022.

OIP Staff

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