KSUA 91.5 Notes: Half Way Home and {Awayland} reviewed

Brady Gross/Sun Star Columnist
January 29, 2013

Artist: Angel Olsenangel olsen
Album: Half Way Home

Angel Olsen croons with a passion and intensity that only scorned love could emblaze. Olsen collapses through her head space lyrically, revealing past heartbreaks but also naïve schoolgirl optimism that resonates with anyone that has wanted a companion in any capacity. Lust, longing and passion are themes that cling to every whelp that paints Olsen’s half-finished portrait of life. Not one song here feels motionless, and just like the title, I feel Olsen is only halfway ready to divulge exactly what relationship has caused so much strife. At times, Half Way Home can be a stressful journey for the listener, but in the end the album garners a respect unmatched among the sea of mindless ‘art’ that plaques our airwaves.

Essential Tracks: “Acrobat,” “Lonely Universe,” and “Miranda”

Artist: Villagersvillagers
Album: {Awayland}

“Naked on the toilet with a toothbrush in his mouth,” is quite the introductory lyric Irish front-man Conor O’Brien heeds as the listener acutely realizes that folk music doesn’t have to be all banjo and ‘Ho Heys.’ Villagers, here on their third album succeed at intertwining intelligent but also witty lyrics. The right amount of piano experimentation and grandeur guitar symphonics make an album that echoes long after the silence has settled. O’Brien finds confidence in the musical fringe he uses to dress up song after song. While many folk releases these days easily get lost in the shuffle, hearing O’Brien’s confidence so subtly tuned makes {Awayland} feel uniquely warm and distinct.

Essential Tracks: “My Lighthouse,” “Earthly Pleasure,” and “Judgement Call”

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