Music » Music Previews

Preview: Angel Olsen

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the singer coming to Circle Bar Dec. 4

by

comment

On 2012's ear-opening Half Way Home (Bathetic) — her first LP after years of bonny, princely guise-hiding with Palace brother Will Oldham and Emmett Kelly's Cairo Gang — Angel Olsen announces herself with a formalist book of country/folk charms and a shadowy palette that makes Roy Orbison sound like the life of the party. "Where is my harmony?/ Where is my friend?" she weeps on finishing touch "Tiniest Seed," her woolly voice unraveling in its upper register like a thatch of frayed E strings. "I wish you were here with me, but you're too far away/ Standing beside me now with nothing to say." Only the lonely know the way Olsen feels: that physical separation is far from the hardest kind; that sometimes the widest gulf is none at all. "Forgiven/Forgotten," the first single off her forthcoming Jagjaguwar debut, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, processes at first as an unbroken thought, Olsen singing, "If there's one thing I fear, it's knowing you're around/ So close but not near/ So close, oh, but not with me here." Except here, everything else has changed: the unplugged isolation replaced by electric reflection, the supreme release of "Free" ("Where is the one who holds me tight?/ Can only reach him in my mind") squared with the hardened reality of "Lonely Universe" ("This time of year the nights fall longer/ So grow a spine or catch a cold"). Dominique LeJeune and Silo Homes open. Tickets $10. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

Add a comment