TRACK REVIEW: Angel Olsen “Fly on Your Wall”


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Angel Olsen photo by Amanda Marsalis

If you’re reading this right now, chances are you’re one of the millions who is displeased (to say the least) with the recent election of Donald Trump. And what can help us combat our anger, sadness, and overwhelming show of emotions more than musical support?

Dave Eggers-backed protest org 30 Songs, 30 Days and record label collective Secretly Group are working in accordance to present Our First 100 Days. Essentially it’s a subscription service benefitting organizations threatened by Trump’s agenda (donations go to protect reproductive health, the environment, undocumented immigrants, the LGBT community, and the working class). A mere $30 gets subscribers exclusive, unreleased, or rare tracks from artists, including Mitski, Toro y Moi, PWR BTTM, and more. By day 100 of Trump’s presidency, the playlist will have 100 songs meant to inspire change and offer that musical shoulder to cry on that we all desperately need right now.

The first of these is Angel Olsen’s single “Fly on Your Wall,” and it’s a great way to kick off the project. Although Trump’s whirlwind of damaging policy makes it seem as though we’ve been stuck in some bizarre time lapse for years already, we’re barely two weeks in; “Fly on Your Wall” provides a valuable sense of grounding back in reality with a strident, march-like tempo. The guitar and bass chords hit hard and heavy right in the core with every pluck. Grungy and melancholic at first, the song builds toward optimistic revery as Olsen croons, “It’s only real in my mind” as though issuing a protective mantra. I want to take it as a sign that things aren’t as bad as they seem and that maybe there’s hope somewhere, but that’s mostly because that’s what I need to believe right now. At the very least, it’s a vital reminder that despite Trump’s promises to defund arts and humanities programs, there are many performers willing to stand up to him with a triumphant songs of resistance.