Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar, 2014)

January 31, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness

I didn’t give much of a listen to Angel Olsen’s first album, but I remember it being more ethereal country/folk, and this album’s opener “Unfucktheworld” here starts that way, but then the next track (“Forgiven/Forgotten”) is full-band and produced and I was a little startled. But it’s good! It arrives at the lyric “I don’t know anything, but I love you”, and that gets to me. Then it ends abruptly after a shred of some scraping guitar noise. “Hi-Five” is also more rocking, with a bit of Roy Orbison inflection to her voice, but then “White Fire” goes back to the long droney ethereal folk thing, and it’s lovely as well. “High & Wild” is midtempo dusky rock, then “Lights Out” is a down-and-out country ballad. “Stars” is another somewhat cathartic, somewhat rocking track. “Iota” is soft and vaguely bossanova-esque. “Dance Slow Decades” is a nice ethereal slowdance, as the title suggests. “Enemy” is a softly swaying acoustic song, and then “Windows” ends the album with a big weepy finale, starting softly and then building up minimal drums and organ, with Olsen’s voice crying “why can’t you see? are you blind? are you dead? are you alive?”, then about-facing and asking “won’t you open a window sometime? what’s so wrong with the light?” Kind of dramatic, but also kind of devastating. Good stuff.

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