“An intimate and vulnerable emotional portrait that shows her grappling with a period of personal tumult, ‘Whole New Mess’ presents Angel Olsen working through her open wounds and raw nerves with just a few guitars and some microphones, isolated in a century-old church in the Pacific Northwest.
‘Whole New Mess’ follows ‘All Mirrors,’ Olsen’s grand 2019 masterpiece (and a top 10 critically acclaimed record). At least nine of the eleven songs on ‘Whole New Mess’ should sound familiar to anyone who has heard ‘All Mirrors.’ “Lark,” “Summer,” “Chance”—they’re all here, at least in some skeletal form and with slightly different titles. But these are not the demos for ‘All Mirrors.’ Instead, ‘Whole New Mess’ is its own record with its own immovable mood. If the lavish orchestral arrangements and cinematic scope of ‘All Mirrors’ are the sound of Olsen preparing her scars for the wider world to see, ‘Whole New Mess’ is the sound of her first figuring out their shape, making sense for herself of these injuries.”-Secretly Canadian