Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Angel Olsen's Debut LP Is Some Truly Captivating Indie-Folk Music

The soft, indie folk of Angel Olsen’s debut LP Burn Your Fire for No Witness is as diverse and eclectic as it is powerful.  Each of the albums eleven tracks are incredibly unique and yet the album feels very cohesive from start to finish.  Tracks like “Forgiven/Forgotten” incorporate some alternative influences using lo-fi guitar mixed with slow and steady folk drumming.  Still there is plenty of that modern, indie sound mixed in which is reminiscent of Silversun Pickups to a degree (albeit substantially toned down).  A wide array of instruments are used as well, including piano on several tracks like “High and Wild” which maintains the alternative sound of “Forgiven/Forgotten”.  Still, the albums strengths are in its slower songs which really capture Olsen’s exceptionally distinctive voice.  She channels Johnny Cash on the electronic acoustic “Hi-Five” which incorporates a distinct feel of the 1940’s.  Florence Welch comes through on songs like “Stars” and closing track “Windows” which both offer up Olsen’s voice as the focal point.  This is especially the case on “Enemy” an extremely soft, acoustic ballad with barely any backing track.  “Lights Out” exemplifies Angel Olsen’s style.  The vocals evoke some of the best singer-songwriters in the modern indie landscape and the alterna-folk sound subtly present on the whole album comes through heaviest on this song.  My favorite track on the album may be “White Fire” whose dark, melodic sound is unlike anything I’ve heard in a while.  The enchanting echo of the steady guitar and drums in the background drive Olsen’s poetic lyrics in a haunting and mesmerizing way.  The track is the longest on the album clocking in at nearly seven minutes long but that works to the songs advantage as you feel yourself getting sucked further and further into Olsen’s captivating lyrics.  This entire album blew me away with its many influences, instruments, and techniques.  Incorporating so many genres including folk, indie, lo-fi, alternative, singer/songwriter (the list goes on) the album has a little something for everyone.  While the tracks all have a slower, I hate to say depressing feel similar to Lana Del Ray, they invoke a wonderfully pleasing calmness which at the end leaves you feeling more serene than depressed.  Definitely an album EVERYONE should check out.

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