A Soft Holler: A Review of Angel Olsen’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness

unnumbered Album Review #2



I love everything about this album and have been listening to it since it came out back in 2014. From the album title, to its cover, to all of the songs, Angel Olsen can put together one hell of a piece of art.

Since Angel Olsen is releasing a new album in September I thought it might be nice to review this one.

So hat really drew me to this album is that it’s so unique while still being so entertaining. It seems to be a very personal work of art for Olsen and you can really hear that in the songs.

The first song, unfucktheworld, spelt like that with the words all smashed together, opens the album slowly. There isn’t much going on in this song, it’s just Olsen and her guitar but everything that is happening is good. The hollow sounding guitar mixed with Olsen’s haunting voice and the beautiful lyrics all come together to create a really dark, remorseful love song.

Then on the next song Forgiven/Forgotten, Olsen turns up the speed and energy of the music and hits us with some low-fi, fuzzy guitar that blends so well with the catchiness of the song.

Hi-five. The heavy plucking of the bass and the echoey reverberations of Olsen’s guitar are great. And Olsen’s voice is a little more far reaching on this track than others. But what I really love about this track is that it’s a little chaotic and it’s a little sloppy and Olsen seems to be having fun with it.

On the next track, White Fire (maybe a reference to the album title), all of the fun is sucked from the song. It has slow melodic guitar and Olsen is singing softly and darkly and the music and the lyrics give you this ominous feeling. It’s great.

The next track is possibly my favorite track on the album, High and Wild. The name says it all, from 0:09 seconds when the drums lead us into those ringing bells, this song is nothing if not wild. And as the song slowly builds erupting in Olsen singing at the top of her lungs, you know this song is high. This song is definitely a High and Wild point in a great album.

Lights Out, the next song is just a feel good song. I like to use this song as a lullaby when I need to get to bed, so it can remind me that everything is going to be okay.


Stars, the next track on this album, featuring the soft holler of Olsen’s voice is another feel good song, with lyrics like, “Just scream the stars out of our universe” you cant help but just feel wondrous and hopeful. It’s also quite a reflective song, every time I hear it, it makes me reflect on my past.

Iota, a slow dazzle of a song, this next track is a slower tune with some very light drumming and acoustic guitar work, really putting Angel’s voice in the foreground of the song.

Dance Slow Decades, the third to last track on the album feels like it has almost nothing going on for at least the first minute but then after a minute and twenty five seconds the chorus hits and the song just opens up and it really blows your hair back.

Enemy, the second to last song on the album is another song putting Olsen’s very beautiful voice in the foreground of the track. This is a song that I really do wish there were something more going on. It’s at a point in the album when you’re getting a little fatigued and it’s a little to formulaic, for Olsen, to help you make it to the end.

Windows, this last song on this album not only put’s it in the foreground but showcases Olsen’s voice absolutely beautifully. It soft and delicate and mixes so well with the instrumentation of the song, a great ending to the album.

Overall, I love this album. It’s so unique and personal and really gets my creative juices flowing. This album does something that I love in music, in that; it sticks strictly to the pop song structures while experimenting with the sound of pop music as much as possible.

If anyone out there is reading this, please give this album a chance.

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