Singer-Songwriter Angel Olsen to Perform at Basilica Hudson

Angel Olsen (HUDSON, N.Y.) – Angel Olsen, a Chicago-based singer-songwriter whose voice has been described as a cross between Edith Piaf and Patsy Cline, performs at Basilica Hudson on Sunday, September 29, 2013, at 7pm. Pillars + Tongues opens the show.

Raised in St. Louis and now based in Chicago, Angel Olsen began singing as a young girl. She says, “When I reached a certain age, when I reached 15 or 16, I started to sound really different, and I don’t know where it came from or what exactly inspired it. I felt really comfortable singing loudly and letting my voice go all over the place… experimenting with volume and different types of music. Recording a lot, like when I was a little kid I would record on tapes a lot and listen to the recordings and harmonize with those recordings and then try and experiment with sounds, and then re-record over them. I feel like that’s the most natural process of teaching yourself anything. Listening and recording and listening and recording.”


That process — of listening and recording and listening and recording — has imbued her music with a confidence and wisdom that extends as much to her arrangements as to the voice that defines her music. What accompanies Olsen’s voice might be the ambient sigh of a guitar chord, or the somber march of a snare, or a twirling melody met with an itchy little shaker. But it is purposefully subtle, leaving her voice front and center at nearly all times, freeing it to occupy the smallest nook or command a seemingly endless space. More so than powerful, Olsen’s voice is unforgiving.

And it’s little surprise, then, that her work is inspired by what she describes as “being home, feeling home within yourself. Simple things like homes and existence and death and birth.” Her music is defined by many of the same signposts by which folk music first defined itself — resonant images, bold voices, deeply human tones. And so Olsen is, to turn a phrase, bringing it all back home.

The Basilica Hudson is a reclaimed 19th century factory, converted into an art and performance space for the artistic and cultural community at large. The Basilica Hudson’s striking industrial architecture makes it a unique location for diverse events ranging from music and film festivals to art exhibitions and independent theater.


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