Angel Olsen has been a captivating performer from the start, and on her latest album she has unfurled into something quite remarkable. Olsen plays the Echoplex Sunday night, with Irish guitarist Cian Nugent and Paul Bergmann opening, when she returns to Los Angeles in support of her latest release, the excellent Burn Your Fire for No Witness (out now on Jagjaguar). This new album, borne of heartbreak and resolute strength, finds Olsen in full command of her vocals and production. Still her quietest moments betray vulnerability, seemingly tiny in the space between notes.
Olsen has an extraordinary voice; smooth and textured like a velvety charcoal. She has an impressive range both technical and emotional and when she performs she is incredibly self-possessed, knowing exactly how long to hold a note and when to let it go. At times she sounds like Kathleen Edwards or Sharon Van Etten, other places on this album evoke shades of Patsy Cline and the whitest rabbit of Grace Slick. A line like “I feel so lonesome I could cry…” is equal parts Cline and Elvis Presley. Olsen, in her live show is intense, funny and heartbreaking, sometimes all in the same song. She understands the power of playing to an audience right there in the room with you, to lock eyes with them one by one and then shrug it off. You will not want to miss this show.
Angel Olsen plays the Echoplex Sunday March 2, 2014 with Cian Nugent and Paul Bergmann in support. The Echoplex (1822 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90026) is located below The Echo, enter through the alley at 1154 Glendale Blvd. Tickets are $13 advance, $15 at the door, doors open at 8:30pm. All Ages.