April Olsen is on, what appears to be a huge tour this year. All the European dates this Spring and Summer and a whole slate of U.S. concerts (and two Mexico City dates) between September and the end of December.
I first ran a few posts on Angel Olsen in 2014, around the time her second album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness came out. I was struck by the haunting quality of her voice and the intensity of her message – both which were very appealing.
Three years later, there are more layers added – the songs of introspection and life-on-life’s-terms are now accompanied by a background of intricate and luxuriant ensemble playing – lavish and reminiscent of the soundscapes of live 60’s bands (i.e. Quicksilver Messenger Service), while retaining a freshness and capturing a thoroughly engaging point of view. This is music to listen to more than once on more than one level. Olsen is a gifted writer – her words are evocative, they paint pictures in rich, but subdued shades and hues with stark outlines. The instrumentation plays off Olsen’s vocals and compliments it in ways that accent her message – that supports it and embraces it, not going against it. Together, it makes for a musically rich experience. And it makes perfect sense why audiences in Europe are so drawn to her; this is music with a head on its shoulders, and it’s refreshing.
The lineup at Route du Rock Festival in St. Malo France was stunning this year. Fortunately for everyone, it was captured by RFI and Arte in France (one of THE best Music Channels on the web). Summer isn’t quite over yet – get to a Festival and dive into something you’re not familiar with.
In the meantime, crank this one up and listen to it often. It was recorded on August 20th of this year – and if you happen to be around Raleigh North Carolina the first week of September, catch her at the Hopscotch Music Festival.