Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar Records)
Many of the superlatives describing Angel Olsen refer to how seemingly little it takes for her to leave an audience speechless, even spellbound. But Olsen has never been as timid as those descriptors imply, and the noisy, fiery hints in her earlier work find a fuller expression on her forthcoming LP, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, due out February 18th on Jagjaguwar. Here, Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition, and bold, expressive melody. Also, with the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy.
This "collection of songs, grown in a year of heartbreak, travel, and transformation," tell us to leave, or to high-five a lover who is lacking, or to dance our way up and out of sorrow. Many remain essentially unchanged from their bare beginnings. In leaving them so intact, a more self-assured Olsen than the one present on debut EP, Strange Cacti, where she was just beginning to explore the remarkable range of her voice, and full-length, Half Way Home (Bathetic), where she dared to be more personal, is opening up, allowing us to be in the room with her at the very genesis of these songs, when the thread of creation is most vulnerable and least filtered. We are rewarded for entering this room with many head-turning moments and the powerful, unsettling recognition of ourselves in the weave of her songs.
This act of meaning-making recurs as a theme throughout Burn Your Fire for No Witness, as the sublimating response to the power of negativity, and thankfully for us, Olsen has decided to channel a lot of this newfound power into the ethereal, hypnotic performances of her new and revealing songs, sharing with us the full grace and beauty of her transformative moments.
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