Olga Walks Away

Aunt Ange

Independent release, 2012


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


It's nice but often unexpected when a band brings more than just music to the equation. Brooklyn's Patrick O'Brien and Jack Kearney, the two forces behind Aunt Ange, began their journey into music making with the idea of incorporating art, storytelling, and unpredictable performances. Through the years they've added other musicians to the mix, as well as learning new instruments, which births a constantly evolving sound that spans several genres and truly does defy classification. Their third album my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Olga Walks Away brings even more ideas to the table. This time, the pair took over 20 months to flesh it out, which involved learning to play sitar, table, and the dunebec (yeah, I haven't heard of most of these instruments either).

Much like their previous discs, this is a concept album, too. It takes the idea of two sides to the human mind. One side believes anything is attainable and exists sans negativity and contrast. The other side, known as Charlie Tree, holds our fears, reservations, and sadness. Olga, the protagonist, begins with the first side of the human mind, and the album follows her as she delves into the second part on her voyage for truth.

Musically, this is as strange as the storyline and as mysterious as the artwork. Though mostly rooted in psyche-rock, there's some cabaret style punk and '60s drug-fueled rock. “To The Sun And Die” brings a dark trip-hop vibe, a great example of their hard to pinpoint sound. Other times things are easier to comprehend. “Crucify The Blackbird” wouldn't be out of place on an early Radiohead B-sides disc, and “Down The Rabbit Hole” has a gypsy feeling not unlike The World/Inferno Friendship Society. While nothing here is anywhere near ordinary, “King Of The Damned” is the wildest, most creative ride, but then the album exits on the sparse "Velvet Sidewalks."

Whether you're seeking out something purely for entertainment or really want to focus on instrumentation and the communication side of music, you can't lose here. Often when I think of the term “more than music” I assume politics or social issues are in the picture. Fortunately, Aunt Ange just works from an art-influenced angle that is difficult to not appreciate.

Rating: B

User Rating: A


awesome!! thank you for covering Aunt Ange's new album!! just awesome!!

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