High & Wild
Dance Slow Decades
On her third album, Angel Olsen rides waves of emotional intensity that take her from the depths of despair to the heights of hope. Burn Your Fire for No Witness is a worthy successor to her 2012 breakthrough Half Way Home, revisiting many of the earlier album’s themes with greater focus and maturity. Tracks like “Forgiven/Forgotten,” “Lights Out,” and “Enemy” probe the subtle torments of love with an unflinching hand. Olsen’s phenomenal vocal range—shifting from murmurs to howls and yodels with impressive control—brings out the expansive vision of “Iota” and the confrontational power of “High & Wild.” The album's pervasive angst gives way to a desperate yearning for healing and peace in the convulsive “Stars” and the tender “Windows.” Olsen’s expressive guitar work is lent sympathetic support by bassist Stewart Bronaugh and drummer Joshua Jaeger, who help her leap from the distorted alt-country of “Hi-Five” to the Leonard Cohen–like folk balladry of “White Fire” and the French chanson feel of “Dance Slow Decades.” Finely crafted and fearlessly sung, Burn Your Fire smolders with dark brilliance.