Burning love for Angel Olsen’s arresting new album 

Album review: Angel Olsen’s ‘Burn Your Fire for No Witness’

click to enlarge 1644874.jpg

Angel Olsen
Burn Your Fire for No Witness

★★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Angel Olsen’s debut, Half Way Home, layered the Midwesterner’s arresting, vaguely discomfiting voice over bare-bones instrumentation. The barren landscape allowed her singing to roam wide and free: intimate and composed at times, stratospheric and untamed at others – sometimes within the same line. But on Burn Your Fire for No Witness, Olsen adds crackling psych-rock heft. “Forgiven/Forgotten” stomps, “Stars” is spiked by squealing organs, and the Hank Williams-referencing “Hi-Five” updates tear-in-beer sadness for the scorched-earth, fuck-it-let’s-party 20-something mindset. Yet distance, disintegration and isolation still proliferate. The haunting meander of “White Fire,” the aching lilt of “Iota” and the austere beauty of “Enemy” balance Olsen’s vocals with the rest of the album’s enhanced sonic landscape. The highlight, however, comes midway through “High & Wild,” when Olsen’s “I’m neither innocent nor wise/When you look me in the eyes/You might as well be blind/Because you don’t see me anymore!” It’s cryptic, sure – but Burn Your Fire for No Witness helps us better understand Angel Olsen and her magnetic, mysterious allure.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation