I first noticed Angel Olsen because of her song titles. I mean, who wouldn’t take note of: “Shut Up Kiss Me,” “High & Wild,” and, most crucially, “Unfucktheworld.” But it’s not Olsen’s linguistic flourishes that have made her a star—for once you dive into her discography, it’s impossible not to sit up and pay attention to That Voice. Big, powerful, searing. This may be a tired line, yet it certainly applies to the 30-something woman, raised in St. Louis by foster parents after being put up for adoption soon after she was born: She’s an old soul.
Olsen’s soulful mashup of sounds—’60s folk, ’70s glam, ’80s pop-punk—ultimately renders tracks that don’t sound like anyone else’s. High-wire guitar parts and booming drums wrap elegantly around her rangy vocals, her heart (and yours!) shredding as she sings about love and loss and pain and redemption. You know, all the great pop topics!
“I feel so lonesome I could cry, but instead I’ll pass the time sittin’ lonely with somebody lonely too,” she sings on the crackling rock song “Hi-Five,” off of her 2014 album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, before concluding, “Well, there’s nothin’ in the world I’d rather do.” Olsen has made three excellent records since then—the latest, All Mirrors, finds her going in a new, electronic direction—and trust us when we say there’s nothin’ in the world you should rather do than catch her in Brooklyn later this month.
319 Frost Street, Williamsburg
Thursday, November 21–Saturday, November 23