Angel Olsen came to the Tiny Desk on an odd autumn day, as an impending storm loomed outside our office windows. It all seemed just right for occasion: Watch her and you’ll see calm in her eyes; listen to her and you’ll sense torment in her heart. Olsen gave us a preview of her third record on that October day; she wouldn’t tell us the title, but she did say the word “Burn” with a hint of the title in the words to a song she’d sing. Now, months later and just a few weeks before the release of Burn Your Fire for No Witness, we can share this exclusive preview.
Olsen is a Missouri-born — and now Asheville, N.C.-based — musician via Chicago. The new record was produced by John Congleton with a new band featuring Josh Jaeger on drums and bassist Stewart Bronaugh. The trio began rehearsing these songs in a church turned recording studio in Asheville over the summer. The songs are at times explosive and at times lulling. At the Tiny Desk, the expressive and powerful singer stood alone, and in the process gave us the perfect way to first hear these songs. –BOB BOILEN