Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire for No Witness
I’ve always compared Angel Olsen to the great forgotten lady folksingers of the 70s (or at least those featured on Numero Group’s Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies of the Canyon compilation from 2006) but on Burn Your Fire for No Witness she sounds like the reincarnation of Leonard Cohen (yeah, I know, he’s not dead but you get the picture). You can practically hear her channeling the man himself on “White Fire,” which is so densely moody you can barely move around in it. You just have to sit there in that hot tub of smoky atmosphere and take it. Cohenesque-ness aside, this is no imitation act: Angel Olsen is the real goddamn deal. While she can brood with the best of them, the sonic diversity of Burn… is what makes it such a compelling listen and even on more upbeat tracks like “Forgiven/Forgotten,” the intensity is always cranked to the max and consistently comes across as a songwriter wise beyond her years.