Angel Olsen Recruits 11-Piece Orchestra for ‘Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling)’

Angel Olsen has dropped “Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling),” featuring an 11-piece orchestra, off her upcoming box set Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories.

The alternate version of “Waving, Smiling” from 2020’s Whole New Mess — recorded during the sessions for 2019’s All Mirrors — showcases a swirling string arrangement by Jherek Bischoff, adding an additional layer of emotion. It arrives days after Olsen came out as gay in an announcement on social media.

“This song is all about chapters closing, and learning to let go of things I can’t understand,” she said in a statement. “It’s very me — I will always nosedive into love, and suffering can definitely come with that. When I hear this version the strings really bring the song to its necessary bittersweet boiling point.”

“Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling)” follows “It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess).” Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories, out May 7th, contains All Mirrors, Whole New Mess, and Far Memory, an LP of bonus tracks. The collection includes outtakes, lyric sheets, a 40-page booklet, and more.

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