Thursday, August 26, 2021

Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olson Make Me Love Music ‘Like I Used To’

I love Sharon van Etten. I love Angel Olson. So naturally, it would follow that a duet with them would rock my world. ‘Like I Used To’ is a sweeping single that serves both as a way to reminisce about times gone by and to release what feels like a year and a half of darkness. Even better, there is now an acoustic version available on all streaming platforms for those who prefer to hear the song in a more bare-bones setting.

This song feels cathartic and nuanced and heart-achingly right. Van Etten and Olson agreed to collaborate on this song while working in their respective homes over lockdown. Van Etten took the lead, recruiting Olson, and for an artist who had never tried writing with anyone else, Olson rose beautifully to meet the challenge and helped round out a truly phenomenal song.

Right from the offset we hear the big all-encompassing sounds that we are so used to hearing from van Etten. Part of this is the continued work with producer John Congleton (whose work you can also hear on albums such as ‘Good Woman’ by The Staves). Part of this does also come from the powerful vocals that are so central to van Etten’s work. Whether or not you like the tonal qualities of her voice, there is no denying that she delivers what she does powerfully, with passion, her vocals soar. And Olson’s vocals, veering between Stevie Nicks and a more country twang, carry their own weight, at times offsetting and at times blending with those of van Etten.

Everything in this song feels like it builds to the chorus. Not only is it a good one to sing along to, but it’s also catchy and sits nicely in both of their registers. But more than that, this song somehow, in a beautiful four-minute time-frame, manages to help process all of the grief and uncertainty of losing aspects of your old life. Whether that be your own personal journey or more global losses, the songwriters were quoted saying that they themselves were still processing what this song meant to them. Nevertheless, it felt positive.

I urge you to listen to this song, you’ll find yourself a little more healed than you were before.

Chloe Boehm


Image: ‘Like I Used To’ official cover artwork

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;