Angel Olsen: Show Preview

For folk musicians who want to truly connect with audiences, sincerity must be job No. 1. In a way more marked than any other genre, great folk is contingent on creating primal, roaring empathy between narrator and listener — which explains why Angel Olsen sounds so good. The St. Louis-bred, Chicago-based guitarist/vocalist radiates honesty, having a delicate, unpolished voice she raises high — imagine a flower willing itself to bloom out of season — and a startlingly comfortable attitude toward missing notes as long as the message makes it through. Her latest, band-backed record has the emphatic title Burn Your Fire for No Witness, and her plaintive, brooding music lands with that same punch-to-the-gut palpability. “When I've written [a song], I hope that it's something I believe is true,” Olsen told Orlando Weekly in 2013. “Otherwise, I just feel like you're misleading yourself by singing these mantras that don't matter to you.”

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