Caesar Sant is a four-year-old child prodigy with a gift for playing the violin.
- Posted on Feb 15th 2013 3:00PM by Cameron Matthews
But that's really not a bad thing -- in fact, it's admirable. Here's what we knew going into our conversation: Angel Olsen was an adoptee who grew up in St. Louis. She now lives in Chicago and runs in the same crew as Bonnie "Prince" Billy's Will Oldham. Her most recent album Half Way Home was one of 2012's most brilliant records, steeped in ghostly chord progressions and stitched together by Olsen's classically haunting voice.
This Missouri-born journalist asked the singer about her favorite St. Louis spots, her affinity for the Midwest and if she's truly as dark as her music makes her out to be. I didn't exactly learn a lot, but Angel certainly has a sense of humor.
You told Uncharted that you were adopted. Do you remember it? Have you had contact with your biological parents since then? What does family mean to you?
I don't really remember. I don't think about it very often, but I guess it's an interesting sidenote. It's influenced me and therefore my music -- however it's not some talk-show drama shit. I've had contact, but I'm not sure it's very interesting or exciting to talk about. My family is: People in my life who have raised me into myself, whether it be my biological family, my adoptive family, or further on my even more adoptive group of friends who have seen me change over the years.
One of St. Louis' more curious culinary delights is provel cheese. Are you pro or anti this processed cheese loaf?
PRO GEAR. PRO ATTITUDE. PROVEL. (Commercial bit right there.)
Do you still keep tabs on St. Louis, or hope that it's changing?
I don't really keep tabs on it. I've noticed things ... from far away. I can't tell if they're changes or if I'm just finally beginning to enjoy the vibe that I never could embrace before. I think St. Louis is a very beautiful place, with a ton of history and secret pockets of treasure.
What do you miss most about our beloved downtrodden city of rust?
I like the parks in St.Louis, visiting The Jewel Box, visiting Tower Grove Park and Grand Street. MoKaBe's, Mangia, cbgb ... I miss Left Bank Books, and all the under-priced antique shops and vintage stores. Crown Candy, St.Louis Record Exchange ... all that shit.
Are you always going to be a Midwest gal?
Are you? JK. I dunno! I've been really loving on some mountains lately, and I kinda think I need to live by one. So typical of me, I know.
Do you have a day job?
I still work during the day, and I make people sandwiches and coffee sometimes too. Just for fun. Sometimes for tips.
You say that you're really not as somber as your songs. So, prove it! What's in your Netflix queue?
All I'm gonna say is: "POOTIE TANG"
"Acrobat" is a fine work of art. It wisps between cowling vocals and that unsettling air organ. Are you comfortable writing in such dark places? You seem to be tapping into something not many people can see. Are you a psychic? Do you believe in ghosts?
I'm as psychic as a rabbit-foot keychain. We are all dead, alive and going to be one or the other. So yeah. Ghost toast.
"Half Way Home" seems to have two meanings. Do you never feel truly at home?
I feel really good at home. Home looks like many things. Home is all around me and never around me. Home is inside me and always changing. Home is where the heart is, right? That's what I hear.
Why have you remained so mysterious these last few years?
I didn't have to try hard to remain mysterious. I guess I'm not sure what that means, but I've been busy living my life. Building a mystery, you know. Like that song "Building a Mystery." I've been doing that for you all this time. Ha!