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Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen

When: Sun., May 4, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: sold out
Onetime Chicagoan Angel Olsen recorded the bulk of her recent album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness (Jagjaguwar), with her working band, toughening up and intensifying her sound. But her remarkable voice remains as free and open as ever—even as her band surrounds her with heady psychedelia, she summons the haunted spaces of rural folk music. Ruminating on wounded and dying relationships, Olsen balances vulnerability and strength. In many of her new songs she makes peace with imperfection: in “High Five” she bonds with someone else who shares her loneliness and sense of romantic possibility, and in the bruising “High & Wild” she describes a relationship that’s turned static and lifeless, so that she can’t seem to snap out of a somnambulant funk. The greatest pleasures of the record, however, are the soaring melodies, both earthy and ethereal—Olsen delivers them with more focus and power than ever.

Last year Nashville’s Promised Land Sound dropped a self-titled album (for North Carolina label Paradise of Bachelors) that filters the vintage country-rock sounds of Gram Parsons, Gene Clark, and the Band through a garage-rock sensibility. Keyboardist Ricardo Alessio adds a bit of Augie Meyers Tex-Mex choogle, while guitarist Sean Thompson (who also sings) twines together the meaty chords of Steve Cropper and the ragged licks of the Standells’ Tony Valentino. —Peter Margasak

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