Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No Witness
  • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2014

  • Posted by: K. Hess

Somewhere on the road between honky tonk country blues and the darkest of indie lullabies there's a lonely roadhouse where you will find Angel Olsen strumming her guitar. Last week the singer/songwriter released her second full length album: Burn Your Fire For No Witness, and let flow a river of sweetly harrowing nostalgia. The record moves like blood through the body, flowing with careful abandon.

Burn Your Fire For No Witness is a cross section of the lonely heart. The adrenaline rush that comes from the angst of in-communication accelerates the record's heartbeat in "Forgiven/Forgotten". She cries with a crisp frustration in time with punctuating drums, "I've made up my mind / I've made up my mind / I've wasted my time / Making up my mind / I don't know anything / but I love you." Later she decelerates down to a near comatose state of detached loneliness as she softly breathes, "I heard my mother thinking me right back into my birth / I laughed so loud inside myself it all began to hurt," over low pulsing guitar strums in the ballad "White Fire".

Olsen is a very talented lyricist with a gift for conjuring Poe-like imagery, but her voice remains the piece de resistance of the record. She has an incredible range of character. She oscillates between airy, delicate crooning reminiscent of Emmylou Harris, and piercing cries laced with the clarity and urgency of Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick—it's absolutely bewitching. In the opening track "Unfucktheworld", Olsen's voice lilt's over acoustic guitar strumming, "I quit my dreamin' the moment that I found you / I started dancin' just to be around you / Here's to thinking that it all meant so much more / I kept my mouth shut an opened up the door." The song waxes with the grainy nostalgia of an old Dame Vera Lynn recording, playing for us soldiers in the trenches and foxholes of modern day's emotional warfare.

She belongs forever in front of a vintage velocity microphone in a poorly lit make-shift venue.

Watch the video for her country tinged single "Hi-Five" and listen for her raw honey vocals.



Burn Your Fire For No Witness is out now under Jagjaguwar.



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