Posted in Album Reviews

Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness (2014)

51CsnBe7lBL__SP160,160,0,T_It’s not often a love song can be described as ferocious, but it seems an apt description for Angel Olsen’s blinding single “Forgiven/Forgotten”. Hearing Olsen shout ”I don’t know anything, but I love you” through a haze of vocal and guitar distortion is mesmerizing. Olsen then taps into her inner Hank Williams for the punk-country twang of “Hi-Five” where she pleads, “I’m giving you my heart, are you giving me your heart?”

And this is how Angel Olsen’s second album, and first for Jagjaguwar, Burn Your Fire For No Witnessstarts out. As you get deeper into the album, Olsen, along with producer John Conglton favour minimal arrangements, letting the vocals mingle with spare instrumentation. The hushed lament of album closer “Windows” and acoustic “Iota” are great examples. But both contain subtle power, the percussion swell in the former and a bass drum that sounds like bombs going off in the distance on the latter. Burn Your Fire… is beautiful, angry, loving and sad all at the same time. This range of emotion makes Angel Olsen’s first full band release, a very compelling listen.


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