Photo: Dana Trippe

Angel Olsen announces 80s covers EP, shares her stately version of Laura Branigan’s “Gloria”

Angel Olsen has released two albums in the last two years, compiled them in a box set, and recently broken the internet with her Sharon Van Etten collab single “Like I Used To”, but she’s still got more goodness to come. Today she reveals that she’ll be releasing Aisles, a collection of five covers of 80s classics, and it’ll be coming out as the inaugural release on somethingscosmic, her new Jagjaguwar imprint.

While Aisles will feature covers of classics like Men Without Hats’ “Safety Dance” and Alphaville’s “Forever Young”, Olsen has decided to lead with the opening track, her version of “Gloria” by Laura Branigan. She says:

“I’d heard ‘Gloria’ for the first time at a family Christmas gathering and was amazed at all the aunts who got up to dance. I imagined them all dancing and laughing in slow motion, and that’s when I got the idea to slow the entire song down and try it out in this way.”

Indeed, Olsen and co-producer Adam McDaniel have slowed down the song so much that you might not even recall the original at first. In doing so, she wrings out the emotion in the song, particularly on lines like “I think you’re headed for a breakdown / so be careful not to show it,” removing the fiery emphasis of the original and turning it into a worried and intimate offering from one friend to another. As is her wont, Olsen builds her pile of pastel-hued synths into a grandiose finale, replete with strings, making the tenderness all the more towering.

Listen to “Gloria” below or on streaming platforms.

Angel Olsen’s Aisles EP arrives on August 20 through somethingscosmic (pre-order/save). The track list is:

  1. Gloria (Laura Branigan)
  2. Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)
  3. Safety Dance (Men Without Hats)
  4. If You Leave (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark)
  5. Forever Young (Alphaville)

You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.