Thursday, October 10, 2013

Angel Olsen

My live review of the Angel Olsen/Pillars & Tongues show is running as a feature at Blurt today.

RARE AIR: Angel Olsen

On Oct. 1, songstress Angel Olsen and Windy City pals Pillars and Tongues utterly captivated a Northampton, Mass. audience at the storied Iron Horse venue. BLURT’s contributing editor was there to bear witness.


Two Chicago bands – one stuffed to the gills with equipment and instruments, the other spare as a twig in winter – played Northampton’s Iron Horse last week (Oct. 1). Pillars and Tongues, a trio, wove dense, drone-y layers of violin, synthesizer, bass guitar and harmonium into enveloping textures. Angel Olsen, touring in support of her recently-released Half Way Home album, sketched a stark landscape with folk guitar, minimal bass and drums and her extraordinarily expressive voice.



Jean-Luc Garbo said...

If she were in a punk band, she would have obliterated the assholes at the bar where she played last week! Cut her set short, sadly. The review is a good summary of her strengths. She was intense when I saw her so it's great her fire is burning so hard on this tour. Never would have guessed it from the starkness of her record - which reminds me so much of Tarnation (not a bad thing). The drummer was a great idea for the tour. He really complemented her playing. The part by herself that you described was the same here. She actually finished her drink on stage before leaving which somehow was almost as intimidating as when she sang.

jenniferpkelly said...

Hi, Andrew, oh good, I'm glad it's not just me sensing a chilly vibe from this lady, not that it matters really. I have to think about Tarnation now. I guess my initial reaction is that this is rawer and more dissonant. She's sort of a punk singer anyway, even when she's picking and crooning.