Folk songstress Angel Olsen’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness, released all the way back in February 2014 via Jagjaguwar, has found itself a consensus pick as one of the best albums of the year.
Returning to her former home, Olsen played a packed house at Chicago’s finest new concert venue, Thalia Hall, last Saturday evening. The decaying beauty of the recently renovated concert hall, built back in 1893 and named for the Greek muse of idyllic poetry, perfectly complimented Angel’s hauntingly timeless crooning.
The most striking element of Olsen’s vocal craft is her effortless control over her delicate melodies. Slight deviations in inclination seem to create the effect of a conversation within songs. Even more impressive than her nearly perfect albums, she possess one of the rare honey-laden voices that your ears deserve to be seeped in directly.
At 27 years old, she’s mastering songwriting as a rare out-of-time talent. Bending between the gritty “Forgiven / Forgotten,” backhanded “High & Wild” and delicate “White Fire,” If she hadn’t noted it afterwards, Jackie DeShannon’s 1964 song “When You Walk in the Room” would have gone unnoticed as one of her own.
Angel Olsen rounds out the year with a brief victory lap with shows over the next week in San Francisco (a full band show at the Great American Music Hall this evening, December 1, and a solo show December 2 at The Chapel) Los Angeles (December 3 and 4 at Silent Movie Theatre and El Rey Theatre), and New York (at Roulette December 6 and Bowery Ballroom December 8 and 9).