Angel Olsen live

Sunday 23 March 2014Past concert

Angel Olsen

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31-33 Spear Street, Stevenson Square M1 1DF Manchester, UK

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Doors open: 19:30

Tour name: Angel Olsen

Hey! Manchester Presents

ANGEL OLSEN

Many of the superlatives describing Angel Olsen refer to how seemingly little it takes for her to leave an audience speechless, even spellbound. But Olsen has never been as timid as those descriptors imply, and the noisy, fiery hints in her earlier work find a fuller expression on her newest LP, Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Here, Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition and bold, expressive melody. Also, with the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy.

Angel Olsen began singing as a young girl in St. Louis, where she explored the remarkable range of her voice and the places it could take her songwriting. Her self-released debut EP, Strange Cacti, belied both that early period of discovery and her Midwestern roots. Cautious and homespun on the one hand, the EP transported us to a mystical, unrecognisable world on the other, and it garnered extensive praise for its enigmatic beauty. Olsen then went further on Half Way Home, her first full-length album (released on Bathetic Records), which mined essential themes while showcasing a more developed voice. Olsen dared to be more personal.

After extensive touring, Olsen eventually settled for a time in Chicago's Logan Square neighbourhood, where she created 'a collection of songs grown in a year of heartbreak, travel and transformation'. The new songs go on to tell us to leave, or to high-five a lover who is lacking, or to dance our way up and out of sorrow. Many of them also remain essentially unchanged from their bare beginnings. In leaving them so intact, a more self-assured Olsen is opening up to us, allowing us to be in the room with her at the very genesis of these songs, when the thread of creation is most vulnerable and least filtered.