Hey! Manchester promotes gigs by folk, Americana and experimental bands from around the world in Manchester, England. Read more here, see below for our latest shows, check out our previous shows, contact us, or join our mailing list, above.

Upcoming shows: Gratis: Seazoo... Sounds From The Other City 2020... Lindsay Munroe... Aoife O’Donovan... Joan Shelley... glowe... Milky Wimpshake... Born Ruffians... The Lovely Eggs... Angel Olsen – Leeds... Andy Shauf... Alice Boman... Dana Gavanski... Mr Ben & The Bens... Penguin Cafe... Erland Cooper... Peggy Sue... Smoke Fairies... Happyness... Douglas Dare... Joep Beving... Leif Vollebekk... The Lovely Eggs... The Dears... BC Camplight... Tokyo Police Club... The Handsome Family... Pictish Trail...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 9 April 2020
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

PLEASE NOTE: This show is being postponed to a future date, TBC. Updates will appear here and on social media, and those who have reserved tickets will also received an email notification about the new date shortly.

We continue our series of free entry shows at the Eagle Inn – with a rare headline show by H!M favourites Seazoo!

Welsh noisy indie-pop maestros Seazoo announce their return with upcoming sophomore album set for release early next year.

Recorded at Big Jelly Studios with Mike Collins the group’s second full-length effort demonstrates a fresh approach and follows critically acclaimed 2018 debut LP TRUNKS, shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize alongside acts including Boy Azooga, Gwenno, Gruff Rhys and Manic Street Preachers.

Heavily influenced by the likes of Yo La Tengo, Courtney Barnett and Grandaddy, the rousing five-piece have enjoyed significant support throughout the tastemaker community (Q Magazine, DIY, The Line Of Best Fit, Clash, Dork) and across the airwaves (BBC Radio 1, 6 Music), with their glowing reputation as an exceptional live act leading to appearances at SXSW, The Great Escape and Green Man and slots with IDLES, The Lovely Eggs and Circa Waves.

‘Magical indie-pop’ – DIY

‘A five-part indie-pop explosion…an absolute riot’ – Clash

‘Wobbly synths and retro-feeling guitars that sparkle with nostalgia’ – The Line Of Best Fit

Support comes from Melin Melyn (acoustic). According to SWN Festival: ‘Melin Melyn create catchy and eccentric vintage pop reciting weird stories, like a psychedelic kids tv show – combining elements of surf, folk, country and summery psychedelia, the band encourage a curious atmosphere stretching from one magical world to another.’

Advanced bookings are now full. We expect some drop outs so feel free to head down on the night – but note that we can’t let anyone in once we’ve hit capacity.

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When: 2pm until late on Saturday 2 May 2020
Where: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN

PLEASE NOTE: SFTOC 2020 is postponed – read the official announcement here:

Hi all,We don’t need to tell you what’s going on in the world – you’ve likely read enough elsewhere without having to…

Posted by Sounds From The Other City on Friday, 20 March 2020

 

Hey! Manchester is delighted to be curating a stage at this year’s Sounds From The Other City – our 11th year in a row! SFTOC is a one-day music festival that celebrates the diversity of Greater Manchester’s ‘other city’.

Sounds From The Other City (SFTOC) is back once again for 2020, and back to Chapel Street after our 15th birthday blowout last time out. We’re seeing in the new decade by, as ever, giving your favourite promoters creative carte blanche to book the best new bands in the country, and have them play in your favourite spaces – the strange, the surreal, and the spectacular – as our community festival of art, new music, and culture returns to the pubs, churches and community corners of Salford.

With the early May Bank Holiday Monday moved back to Friday 8 for VE Day, we’re taking the opportunity to move SFTOC forward to 2 May – a once in a lifetime chance to experience Sounds on a Saturday before moving back to our usual Sunday slot in 2021. We’ll also be bringing lots more new ingredients to mix in everything that has made the festival one of the most idiosyncratic and individual events in the country, making sure the best day of the year stays as fresh as ever as we reach our sixteenth year.

SFTOC is a festival of music and art, a day of discovery, a community festival in its truest form, bringing Manchester and most importantly Salford together in creating something downright magical and unique to be enjoyed by everyone – whether you are on stage, behind the scenes, or soaking it all in from venue to venue with a beer in your hand.

Hey! Manchester is excited to be in a new venue (for us) in 2020: The Kings Arms! The venue hosted our first ever show, back in 2006, and remains one of our favourite spots in the city.

Our line-up this year features Irish singer/songwriter Aoife Nessa Frances, Barcelona’s Núria Graham, Scottish songwriter, producer and performer Jonnie Common, London’s jangle pop group Proper Ornaments and Cornish indie-rock trio William the Conqueror. Listen to them below.

Tickets are now available through Skiddle, while physical tickets have also made a return – pick yours up, from Saturday 1st February,  at Piccadilly Records (includes booking fee), or Siop Shop if you’re in Manchester city centre; Grapefruit in Sale; Font Bar in Chorlton; Wilderness Records in Withington; or the Kings Arms, and the University of Salford Students Union right here in sunny Salford.

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When: 7pm on Saturday 9 May 2020
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re excited to be promoting Lindsay Munroe’s biggest show to date!

Lindsay Munroe is a captivating new alt-indie artist based in Manchester. Bold and unflinchingly honest, she pairs swelling synths and swaggering guitars with painfully introspective lyrics, evoking acts like Sharon Van Etten, Laura Marling and Marika Hackman. At once assured and startlingly vulnerable, her music invites you into her world, but on her terms.

After teasing new material at a sell-out hometown show, Munroe is gearing up for the 2020 release of her debut record, produced by Chris Hamilton (LUMP, Torres) and featuring Fern Ford (The Big Moon). Played heavily on BBC Introducing in 2019, she has recently performed at Dot to Dot Festival and toured with the likes of Luke Sital Singh and David Kitt.

‘The Manchester acoustic scene’s most exciting young graduate’ – David Sue, Manchester Evening News

‘A hugely promising debut from an extremely talented new artist’ – IndieLondon

This show is a co-promotion with DHP.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday 24 January via Seetickets.com

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 21 May 2020
Where: Hallé St Peter’s, 40 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6BF

We’re delighted to present Aoife O’Donovan: Songs and Strings in one of Manchester’s hidden gems.

Recognised for her ethereal voice and substantive songwriting, Aoife O’Donovan is also known for her collaborations. Called ‘a vocalist of unerring instinct’ by the New York Times, O’Donovan is one of the most sought after vocalists and songwriters of her generation and her career has allowed her to collaborate with some of the most eminent names in music across a wide variety of genres.

The most recent example is I’m With Her, the band comprised of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and O’Donovan. Their debut album See You Around, released in February 2018, has garnered praise from NPR, who instantly hailed the collection as ‘willfully open-hearted’, and the Guardian called their sound both ‘ethereal and purposeful’.

As a solo artist, O’Donovan has released two studio albums. In the Magic Hour (2016), a 10-song album full of the singer’s honeyed vocals mixed with gauzy, frictionless sounds: splashing cymbals, airy harmonies, and the leisurely baritone musings of an electric guitar. Mojo described the record as ‘exhilarating and exploratory,’ while the New York Times named The King of All Birds one of the Best Songs of 2016. Aoife toured 2016 in support of the album and ended that year releasing a live album, Man In A Neon Coat: Live From Cambridge, with her touring band. Her debut solo album, 2013’s Fossils, is a moody collection of original songs with a country lilt. The record received critical acclaim and was featured on a number of Best of 2013 lists including NPR Music, American Songwriter, New York Magazine and No Depression. In 2018, Aoife contributed an original song titled Are You There to the film What They Had, an official selection at both Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals.

O’Donovan spent the preceding decade as co-founder and front woman of the string band, Crooked Still. She is the featured vocalist on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the Grammy-winning album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, and its one-third of the female trio Sometimes Why. Throughout her career, she has also collaborated with artists such as Alison Krauss and jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, and is currently a member of the house band on the radio variety show Live From Here.

For this show, Aoife is joined by a string quartet.

Hallé St Peter’s, located on Blossom Street in Ancoats, is a Grade II-listed, deconsecrated church, which was built in 1859. Having stood empty for decades, it was recently restored to provide rehearsal and recording space for the Hallé orchestra.

This show is sold as unreserved seating. It is a co-promotion with Please Please You and the Brudenell.

Age restriction: 14+. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Vinyl Exchange, WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 23 May 2020
Where: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN

PLEASE NOTE: This show has sold out! Watch this space for details of future Joan Shelley shows in Manchester.

We’re delighted to be welcome Joan Shelley back – this time, to the Kings Arms!

Joan Shelley is a songwriter and singer who lives near Louisville, Kentucky, not far from where she grew up. Like the River Loves the Sea is her fifth album. She draws inspiration from traditional and traditionally-­minded performers from her native Kentucky, as well as those from Ireland, Scotland, and England, but she’s not a folksinger. Her disposition aligns more closely with that of, say, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, or her fellow Kentuckian Tom T. Hall, who once explained – simply, succinctly, in a song – ‘I Witness Life’.

She’s not so much a confessional songwriter, although Like the River… gets closest to such subjectively emotional impressions as perhaps any album to date, and she sings less of her life and more of her place: of landscapes and watercourses; of flora and fauna; of seasons changing and years departing and the ineluctable attempt of humans to make some small sense of all – or, at best, some – of it. Her perspective and performances both have been described, apparently positively, as ‘pure,’ but there’s no trace of the Pollyanna and there’s little of the pastoral, either: her work instead wrestles with the possibility of reconciling, if only for a moment, the perceived ‘natural’ world with its reflection – sometimes, relatively speaking, clear; other times hopelessly distorted – in the human heart, mind, and footprint.

Since the 2015 release of her album Over and Even, Shelley has crossed the US and Europe several times as a headlining artist, sharing shows with the likes of Jake Xerxes Fussell, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Doug Paisley, Daniel Martin Moore, the Other Years and Michael Hurley. She has opened for Wilco, Chris Smither, Andrew Bird and Richard Thompson. Jeff Tweedy produced her previous record at The Loft in Chicago, and her current record Like the River Loves the Sea was recorded at Greenhaus Studios in Iceland.

Tour support comes from James Elkington. Chicago songwriter and guitarist James Elkington – who has collaborated with everyone from Richard Thompson to Jeff Tweedy to Tortoise – has announced his new album, Ever-Roving Eye, out 3 April on Paradise of Bachelors. He recorded his sophomore album at Wilco’s Loft, expanding upon his ‘beautiful, complex, and assured’ (Pitchfork) 2017 debut Wintres Woma, as well as his recent production and arrangement work for the likes of Steve Gunn, Nap Eyes (he produced their upcoming Snapshot of a Beginner) and Joan Shelley. Casting glances back to British folk traditions as well as toward avant-garde horizons, these brilliant new songs, as accessible as they are arcane, buttress Elkington’s brisk guitar figures and baritone poesy with strings, woodwinds, and backing vocals by Tamara Lindeman of the Weather Station.

PLEASE NOTE: This show has sold out! Watch this space for details of future Joan Shelley shows in Manchester.

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When: 7pm on Saturday 23 May 2020
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

PLEASE NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, this show has been postponed to Saturday 23 May. All tickets for the December show remaining valid for the new date.

We’re delighted to helping glowe launch their new album!

Hauntingly beautiful, gritty and uplifting, Manchester-based collective glowe create intense darkness and light with mountain vocals, shimmering strings and smashed up beats. Influenced by sounds from Bjork, Shostakovich, Kraftwerk and the Balkans.

glowe is led by Lis Murphy, vocalist, string player and song-writer. Lis performs with Jane Weaver, featuring on her albums Kosmology and The Fallen Watch-bird.

She has also performed with Amadou & Mariam at Manchester International Festival, supported New Order with Jez Kerr (ACR) on their Scottish tour, in festival line-ups at WOMAD, Boomtown and on BBC Radio 3 and 4 with Manchester Chamber Choir.

‘Delivered with dedication and versatility… glowe made an immediate connection with the audience with their compelling music and on-stage presence’ – Steve Mead, Manchester Jazz Festival

Special guest is Sanja Cin. Sanja Cin’s songs are snapshots in time. Her music naturally embraces influences from music she loves, among them classic pop and folk, as well as music from Brazil to the Balkans. Born in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Sanja grew up in a small Austrian town. After several years spent in Vienna, she landed by surprise in Manchester. Here it is where she recorded her solo EP Bees, together with Manchester-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Alan Keary (alias Shunya), in collaboration with musicians from Austria and Manchester.

Sanja’s music talks about the urgency of life and the ever present resistance towards it, about recognising your own super powers and honouring them by stepping out of the old, over and over again. The songs’ sound is rooted in pop, yet, taking surprising turns at times, playing with structures and melodies, quietly bypassing predefined routes.

As part of the Northern Line Scheme sponsored by Jazz North.

This is a 14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, this show has been postponed to Saturday 23 May. All tickets for the December show remaining valid for the new date.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Vinyl Exchange,  WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Sunday 24 May 2020
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with Milky Wimpshake again, this time on Spring Bank Holiday Sunday!

Based around the nucleus of Pete Dale on vocals, guitar and songwriting and Christine Rowe on bass, Milky Wimpshake have been gigging since the mid 1990s. Quite a number of drummers have appeared over the course of seven or eight LPs, including Emma Wigham of Witching Waves on their soon-to-be-released new LP The Wimps are Alright. The band has a small but enthusiastic cult following, numbering the late John Peel and Iggy Pop (who recently professed his enthusiasm for the band on his 6 Music show) among its fans. In 2014, Alexis Petridis compared Milky Wimpshake to Arctic Monkeys in the Guardian on grounds of both bands’ longstanding reputations. The 2015 album Encore, Un Effort!, was awarded 7/10 in both NME and Uncut.

Wimpshake recorded for the Fortuna POP! label for 15 years, gigging regularly with labelmates Spook School, Martha and others from the UK’s current crop of younger DIY punk-related groups. Milky Wimpshake are considered grandees of the UK DIY scene, indeed, having survived as a group from the heyday of Riot Grrrl through to the present with gigs every year and regular record releases over the last 25 years.

The gig at Gullivers in Manchester will be part of a short tour to promote the new album The Wimps are Alright, which will be out in early May.

Main support comes from Poppycock. Poppycock was formed in 2012 by Una Baines (The Fall/The Blue Orchids/The Fates) who has been described as a ‘New Wave pioneer’ and ‘unassuming heroine of the Manchester music scene’. Working from Una’s substantial back-catalogue of songs (both released und unreleased), Poppycock began initially as a floating collective of musicians. Una says: ‘Our first gig was at the beautiful but dilapidated Hippodrome theatre in Hulme. I had worked with two halves of the band separately so the gig was actually the first time we had all played together. A baptism of fire!’ Poppycock sometimes ‘shapeshift’ into The Fates, Baines’ earlier collaboration celebrating an unapologetic feminist gothic/folk catalogue, performing songs from the widely acclaimed 1985 Furia album (which has never been done in its entirety – yet!).

The album was re-released in 2014 by Finders Keepers Records, who showcased The Fates performing the Furia album at Festival No 6 in 2016. Poppycock’s signature sound has been described as ‘cockypop’, featuring quirky lyrics and seasoned musicianship – Lizard Man, for example, was written after a dream Una had about The Fall and is a tribute to Mark E Smith. Poppycock’s ethos of collectivism and creativity often results in a cross over between art and music. The 1985 Fates Furia album cover was co-created with punk artist Linder Sterling , the Poppycock logo was collaboratively designed by Pascal Le Gras, and the iggy pop cover by Mark E Smith’s sister Suzanne Smith. Poppycock are currently recording their debut album, which will be released in 2020.

Opening the show are Oort Clod. Oort Clod are the bar band from the edge of the universe. Featuring members of Unpaid Intern, the Hipshakes, the Early Mornings, Dream Soda and Blanket Fort.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar (no booking fee), Vinyl Exchange, WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7pm on Thursday 4 June 2020
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re excited to be welcoming Born Ruffians back to Manchester!

Midland-born, Toronto-based indie rock band Born Ruffiansguitarist/vocalist Luke Lalonde, bassist Mitch DeRosier, and drummer Steve Hamelin – are proof that a group of friends with a tireless work ethic and fierce, grassroots commitment to their labour’s integrity and vision can still go a long, long way. Fifteen years into their career, the trio isn’t slowing; instead, they’re doubling down on those designations with JUICE, their sixth full-length record. It’s a hyper, earnest, and affecting collection of rock and roll songs, written and polished over a three-year span then sewn together into a cohesive and uniquely enjoyable experience. It’s Born Ruffians as they’ve always been: on their own terms, heads against the wind until their work is done.

‘Here’s the thing: you get further as a band when all members embrace the strength of their creative relationship, keeping the external demands and pressures at bay,’ says Lalonde. ‘JUICE kind of reflects that as a title. We’re squeezing more out of this bond that we’ve forged over so many years.’

JUICE, due on 3 April 2020 via Yep Roc Records, embodies the band’s longstanding history, exhuming Born Ruffians’ early days in Toronto, while dissecting their relationships with that time and the memories they hold. ‘Was it all the way it seemed? How I wonder what you see/In that wavy haze,’ Lalonde belts on the chorus. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,’ Lalonde explains with a grin. Those days were marked by equal doses of anxiety and excitement, living hand to mouth in a basement in downtown Toronto. ‘That anxiety will exist forever, I think,’ says Hamelin. ‘But the more you take your life into your own hands, it alleviates some of that anxiety.’

JUICE evokes this simplicity: the desperate appreciation for, and necessity of, major key melodies and camaraderie that’s prompted when your back is against the wall. Heard on their own, each single is a neon bolt of energy and storytelling, but placed alongside and tumbling into one another from start to finish, they’re recontextualised as interlocking pieces in a puzzle.

Our collective 21st Century spiritual malaise requires a salve, and JUICE is just that: a sweet, delectable nectar from a band that’s lived longer than most. It’s bright and punchy, from the brass section blasts opening the breathless rock and roll sprint of I Fall In Love Every Night to the playful throb of Hamelin’s drums on Breathe. The plucky gait of Dedication completes this opening trio with whistles and percussion blocks framing Lalonde’s sardonic reading of dogged devotion to capitalism, rhyming off would-be Extremely Online listicles: ’12 ways to die in a fire, 10 ways to be consumed by desire, 8 things you didn’t know about the all-consuming shadow of this empire.’

This beginning three-track suite is mirrored on the back end by the final three songs, an adventure capped off with Wavy Haze. It’s a four-minute wander through Lalonde’s foggy recollections of the band’s beginning hemmed in by cotton-candy guitars and rumbling drums. ‘Miss the stuff you did not need: attention headaches, nicotine, alcohol, and some amphetamines,’ Lalonde declares on the verse. It’s almost like taking stock, counting chips before the next bet. ‘There’s a bit of pride in what we’ve done, and looking back and looking forward all at the same time,’ says DeRosier.

In the end, JUICE is a testament to where Born Ruffians have come from, and a bold, pulpy mission statement for the future. However weird and overwhelming things get, Born Ruffians close out the record by reminding us that they’re in this for the long haul, as Lalonde sings, ‘You see a light come shining from behind, reminding you that kid is always on your back.’

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar (no booking fee), Vinyl Exchange, WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7pm on Friday 17 July 2020
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been moved from April to July. All other details are the same, and original tickets remain valid. It’s still sold out – but if any tickets are returned, we’ll post updates on social media.

We’re delighted to be welcoming The Lovely Eggs back to Gorilla!

The Lovely Eggs are back on the road in 2020 as they announce a string of tour dates around the UK!

With observational and often surreal lyrics about life The Lovely Eggs have a powerful raw sound that creates the sonic illusion of a band twice their size. The result is a mix of heavy psych, pop and strangeness and they have become known for their ferocious yet joyous live performances.

Their new single This Decision is out on 10 January, followed by their new album I am Moron – produced by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, MGMT, Tame Impala, Mogwai) – in the Spring.

With much support from BBC 6 Music and Radio 1, the band continues to sell out gigs across the UK without the help of management, booking agent or record label support. They are selling out bigger and bigger venues and more eggheads are joining them in their crusade against bullsh*t.

Catch them live in April 2020 for the “I am Moron” UK album tour.

Main support comes Thick Richard. Thick Richard has been pedalling his potty-mouthed poems at festivals and clubs up and down the land since 1999. His cynical, lyrical, jet-black humour, intelligent wordplay, well-crafted verse, and occasionally acerbic, well-targeted comic attacks have earned him much respect from artists and audiences from Edinburgh to Glastonbury. He has supported acts including; Kate Tempest, The Fall, The Courteeners, Jerry Sadowitz, John Hegley, Arthur Smith and Frank Sidebottom. Thick Richard has been heard a number of times on BBC radio, including presenting and writing BBC 6 Music’s Beat of the Day and performed live on the channel for National Poetry Day. He is a regular headliner of Hammer and Tongue nationwide poetry tours and is usually to be found performing a wide variety of live music and cabaret venues. He has also had a sell-out tour of his solo show Swear School.

Opening the show is Dog Daisies. Dog Daisies is a widescreen lo-fi indie-pop project based around the home-studio adventures of Lancastrian songwriter Stephen Hudson. Inspired by motorways, midnight walks, 1980s films and the Lancashire coast, Dog Daisies released the debut LP Eagletism at the end of 2019 to glowing press reviews and repeated airplay on BBC 6 Music. Described as ‘Stand by Me put to music and set on a motorway’, it is a record brimming with imagination and melody; it touches on themes of time-travel and the great outdoors whilst inviting comparisons to bands like Grandaddy, Guided by Voices and Mercury Rev.

This is a 14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. 

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been moved from April to July. All other details are the same, and original tickets remain valid. It’s still sold out – but if any tickets are returned, we’ll post updates on social media.

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When: 7pm on Thursday 25 June 2020
Where: Leeds Beckett Students Union, Portland Building, Portland Way, Leeds LS1 3HE

We’re delighted to be welcoming Angel Olsen back – this time, to Leeds!

The descent into darkness is a trope we find time again across history, literature and film — a protagonist plunging further and further into the depths. But there is also an abyss above. There is a winding white staircase that goes ever upward into the great unknown — each step, each turn, requiring a greater boldness and confidence than the one before. This is the journey on which we find Angel Olsen.

Olsen’s flight is both upward and inward. Olsen’s artistic beginnings as a collaborator shifted seamlessly to her magnificent, cryptic-to-cosmic solo work, and then she formed bands to play her songs, and her stages and audiences grew exponentially. But all along, Olsen was more concerned with a different kind of path, and on her vulnerable, Big Mood new album, All Mirrors, we can see her taking an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations. In the process of making this album, she found a new sound and voice, a blast of fury mixed with hard won self-acceptance.

‘I guess you could say some bold and unexpected things have happened in my life,’ Olsen said. ‘It feels like part of my writing has come back from the past, and another part of it was waiting to exist.’

All Mirrors gets its claws into you on both micro and macro levels. Of course, there’s that singular vibrato, always so very close — seemingly simple, cooed phrases expand into massive ideas about the inability to love and universal loneliness. And then suddenly — huge string arrangements and four horsemen bellowing synth swells emerge, propelling the apocalyptic tenor. Throughout All Mirrors, Angel fully lets in the goth tones that always lurked at the ends of her song craft.

‘In every way — from the making of it, to the words, to how I feel moving forward — this record is about owning up to your darkest side,’ Olsen said. ‘Finding the capacity for new love and trusting change, even when you feel like a stranger. This is a record about facing yourself and learning to forgive what you see. It is about losing empathy, trust, love for destructive people. It is about walking away from the noise and realising that you can have solitude and peace in your own thoughts, that your thoughts alone can be just as valid, if not more.’

The first step of All Mirrors, was conceiving a back-to-basics solo record, which she recorded with producer Michael Harris in Anacortes, Washington. Soon after that was completed, a more ambitious version of the album began to percolate in her mind. This second, more maximalist version of All Mirrors evolved slowly with producer John Congleton, arranger Jherek Bischoff, Swiss Army Knife musician/arranger Ben Babbitt, and a 14-piece orchestra.

‘I was determined to keep it bare bones in order to contrast with the not yet recorded full band record,’ Olsen said. ‘I wanted to have versions of these songs that are completely raw and real in the way some of my earlier recordings are, so that I could have the choice to play alone or with a band.’

While remaking the album with full production and new collaborators, Olsen developed a new relationship with control. And in that process, she developed an even clearer vision of herself as an artist.

‘It’s scary to be your own compass, to trust new faces, to be a stranger — but sometimes that’s the only way forward,’ she said. ‘When you’ve been in a repetitive cycle so long it’s difficult for anyone to see you as someone who could come out of it. When you’ve made an example of yourself that people expect, some voices remind you of that example even when you know in your heart you’ve made changes.’

‘As I see it, in order for an artist to survive some kind of change, change needs to be a constant. For myself that constant change means having some kind of epiphany or clarity expressed in song. I don’t know if it’s something I inspire or attract, or if it’s just in the way I’m looking at my surroundings, but drama is something that surrounds my world and always has. I’m at least happy that I’ve learned to write it down.’

This show is a co-promotion with Now Wave and the Brudenell.

Buy tickets now.

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