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Angel Olsen: “High & Wild”

Photo by Kelly Giarrocco

Angel Olsen’s 2012 full-length debut Half Way Home is a big, bold album, but you won’t find many electric instruments on it. Instead, the power comes from Olsen’s voice, which can swoop from fragile beauty to violent grandeur in the space of a few syllables. At times, Half Way Home feels like it’s going to burst at the seams from trying to contain the young Chicago native.

Olsen cut her teeth as a backing singer for Bonnie “Prince” Billy, but even that phenomenal singer conceded that she deserved to be front-and-center. Following the glowing praise for Half Way Home, Olsen dropped Burn Your Fire For No Witness earlier this year to even more critical attention. John Congleton–whose credits include barn-burners like St. Vincent and the Walkmen–produced the record, but he largely stays out of Olsen’s way. She’s already found her unique voice–it’s just a matter of finding instruments and musicians that can keep up.

Olsen brought her songs to Studio 1A earlier this year, and from that live session, we’re featuring the dramatic “High & Wild”–it might start quietly, but it ends as a full-on assault. Download it below, and catch her at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014.

Saturday, Nov. 8 – The Parish, 12:30 a.m. (Fun Fun Fun Nites)

Sunday, Nov. 9 – Orange Stage, 2:30 p.m.

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