First Listen: Angel Olsen, 'Burn Your Fire For No Witness'

by Bob Boilen

  1. Listen Feature audio

    Feb 9, 2014

Angel Olsen has made an unforgettable and entrancing record. Burn Your Fire for No Witness is the musical equivalent of a deep, questioning stare from a lover, and what draws me to her voice is its peaceful, subtle touch. It has me leaning in to listen. Leonard Cohen does that, too, and it's a fine line to walk between pale and enchanting. These are delicate songs, with lyrics stripped to their essence. "White Fire," the song that has the title of the album buried deep within, dispenses one killer line after another, including this:

I heard my mother thinking me right back into my birth
I laughed so loud inside myself it all began to hurt

John Congleton produced Burn Your Fire for No Witness, a record full of songs that took shape in Asheville, N.C., last summer. Olsen is working with a new band, including Josh Jaeger on drums and bass player Stewart Bronaugh. With Congleton's help, the trio found ways to make these songs calm and combustible. I've been living with this music for a few months, and it's become my friend, my comfort; it shakes me, saddens me and lifts me.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Related Stories

  • New Hot's 15 most anticipated albums of 2014 Now that the year-end lists have finally settled, it's time to build up anticipation for what's to come, so The Current's Music Director and New Hot host, David Safar, has put together a list of the most anticipated albums of 2014. Some records come from familiar artists with definite release dates, some have only have European or Australian releases and some may have been released in late 2013 but are just about to make their big splash in the new year.

comments powered by Disqus