Berlin Gig Forecast | Angel Olsen + Amanda Bergman

Who | Angel Olsen

When | Tuesday, October 25

Where | Columbia Theatre

For fans of: Sharon van Etten, Jessica Pratt, Cate Le Bon

America’s bittersweetheart Angel Olsen has always had a way of wooing audiences with her gritty indie rock’n’roll-meets-dreamy 50s-style pop country. Before forging a solo career, she served as a member of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s touring band, but listening to her now, you can easily see that her musical presence was much too powerful to be relegated to the background. Her voice is iconic in the way that Janis Joplin’s was: piercingly emotive and mesmerizing, with a brutal rawness that makes your heart ache. Olsen‘s 2014 sophomore release, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, seemed hard to top, but alas, the powerhouse singer and guitarist has done it again. Her latest LP, My Woman, is a triumph, to say the very least. Although much more polished than her last, this third studio album still has all of the same intensity and momentum. She’s a master at duality, portraying the painful vulnerability of love gone awry but in a way that let’s on that she’s not taking it lying down. Both the title of and material on this record indicate that Angel Olsen is truly coming into her own, and my my, is it a sound to behold.

Who | Amanda Bergman

When | Wednesday, October 26

Where | Grüner Salon

For fans of: Amason, War on Drugs, Paper Kites

Sultry and gravelly yet all-the-while smooth, indie singer-songwriter Amanda Bergman‘s voice is one of those that sounds unmistakably hers. With this as her focal point, it’s difficult to turn a deaf ear to her music: the aching intimacy of her singing draws you in and keeps you there. In typical Swedish fashion, Bergman certainly has a way with melodies, writing lovely hooks that allow the instruments to function almost as characters, each with its own little melodic story: the shimmering guitars and driving percussion are a foil to her dark voice, while the piano closely accompanies her as in a duet. Her debut solo LP Docks is thematically on the somber side of things, but it’s not mired in sadness: the album as a whole has momentum that succeeds in lending a sunniness to subjects that would otherwise drag you down entirely.


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