Burn Your Fire for No Witness

The Missouri singer-songwriter's second full-length expands the dim folk of her 2012 debut into compact, passionate indie rock with shades of country and psychedelia – wringing maximal yearning out of minimal arrangements in three minutes or less, like some no-budget Roy Orbison. Not that romantics like Olsen think in terms so practical. "I don't know anything," she insists on the chorus of "Forgiven/Forgotten," "but I love you" – wailing that line like a truth she wishes she could shake. Burn Your Fire for No Witness deflects Olsen's intensities with humor and her humor with an intimate mysticism. It's a balanced album by a spirit who seems anything but.

From The Archives Issue 1203: February 27, 2014