Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

 |   |  1 min read

Angel Olsen: Enemy
Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

Perhaps like most Elsewhere readers, I'd never heard of this quite remarkable woman previously, but a bit of research shows she was born in Missouri, is now based in Chicago and had a previous album Half Way Home on a small indie label out of North Carolina. She's been part of Bonnie Prince Billy's circle too.

So, never having heard a note, this one hits the player and comes up with some snappy if sometimes familiar sounds and styles which roam from Nancy Sinatra/Chrissie Hynde flattened ache-pop (Hi-Five which opens “I feel so lonely I could cry” and High & Wild) and the Breeders/Velvet Underground on the fuzzy pop of Forgiven/Forgotten through a very clear homage to early Leonard Cohen on the sad but dreamy White Fire to the alt.country-influenced Lights Out.

Reading the lyrics included let you discern the clear thread of heartbreak and disappointment, but by mixing up the musical styles and approaching the hurts from different angles – and a band which sits in or sits back – you never get any sense of maudlin self-pity.

And she's not above throwing in a slice of radio-directed guitar pop (Stars) or an atmospheric ballad on acoustic guitar (Iota). Or glacial poetry (Dance Slow Decades).

Hard to believe the singer of Forgive/Forgotten could also deliver something as intimate and close as the lean and affecting country-folk of Enemy.

An unexpected discovery.


If you like the sound of this, then check out this and this

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Kasey Chambers: Little Bird (Liberation)

Kasey Chambers: Little Bird (Liberation)

Almost a decade ago this Australian singer-songwriter penned Not Pretty Enough, a penetrating chart-topper about self-doubt. The title track here sounds like its rejoinder with the wisdom of... > Read more

The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Shock)

The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Shock)

In the wake of the Who playing in New Zealand (which I missed due to an overseas engagement) a number of people asked about me posting some Who things at Elsewhere. Their absence thus far has... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BATS REISSUED (2014): A timeless flight

THE BATS REISSUED (2014): A timeless flight

Very few bands get better with age, despite what the members themselves might think or their record company would have you believe. Most make their greatest statements early on, or have a fine peak... > Read more

THE COMMONPLACE BOOK by ELIZABETH SMITHER

THE COMMONPLACE BOOK by ELIZABETH SMITHER

Some years ago I was walking down Queen St in central Auckland and stopped outside the Body Shop. There, along an exterior wall, was written one of those thought-provoking and inspirational quotes... > Read more