Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness
On her newest LP, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, Angel Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition, and bold, expressive melody. With the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy.
Angel Olsen began singing as a young girl in St. Louis. Her self-released debut EP, Strange Cacti, belied both that early period of discovery and her Midwestern roots. Olsen then went further on Half Way Home, her first full-length album (released on Bathetic Records), which mined essential themes while showcasing a more developed voice. Olsen dared to be more personal.
After extensive touring, Olsen eventually settled for a time in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, where she created "a collection of songs grown in a year of heartbreak, travel, and transformation," that would become Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Many of them remain essentially unchanged from their bare beginnings. In leaving them so intact, a more self-assured Olsen allows us to be in the room with her at the very genesis of these songs. Our reward for entering this room is many a head-turning moment and the powerful, unsettling recognition of ourselves in the weave of her songs.
Angel Olsen: Half Way Home
After her highly-acclaimed debut Strange Cacti landed in the hands of listeners, it became very obvious the special presence Angel Olsen offered to listeners. She had a fresh edge to her sound, a warm and wonderful range, and a level of skill and charm out of this world.
Half Way Home is a continuation of her elegance brought forth on Strange Cacti, a collection of both new and old music, honed and matured, thoughts revisited. We're hearing this same beautiful girl with that same beautiful voice, this time brought up to a new level, in no doubt a growth and reach brought on by several roadtrips with the one and only Bonnie "Prince" Billy and crew.
The work of Angel Olsen is entirely her own: a raw, glowing sound that stands out now just as much as it did in 2010. It's an emotional stew with Angel's robust voice up front, bold and engaging, coming out of the background, aching to be heard. With the help of Emmett Kelly (The Cairo Gang) behind the board and playing throughout the songs, Half Way Home is a natural progression showcasing the wondrous sounds of a songwriter with such a voice that is rarely found.