Pop Quiz: Angel Olsen

angel olsen

Aidin Vaziri | You’re going to want to get to know Angel Olsen, the moody singer-songwriter out of St. Louis who is drawing raves with her second album, “Burn Your Fire for No Witness.” After getting her start in the indie-rock world singing harmonies with Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, she released a largely acoustic full-length debut, “Half Way Home,” two years ago. Her latest is a darker, more full-bodied affair, produced by John Congleton, who has worked with Joanna Newsom and Modest Mouse. We spoke to Olsen, 27, ahead of her Monday show at the Great American Music Hall.

Q: How much of your music is drawn from real life?

A: Whatever work you put out, no matter what you do, people just assume that is the extent of who you are as a person. I think that’s false, but there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s part of the game. That’s chill. You’re not going to find the answer in a 42-minute record.

Q: I read somewhere that you started out in a ska punk Christian band. True?

A: I really could have gone somewhere with that. It was a thing that happened in high school. The reason I put it out there is because it’s funny the personalities you go through. For a while, I was a cheerleader, then I got into punk rock After high school, I got into Stephin Merritt.

Q: You were also into Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Would you be singing like that if you could?

A: I do wonder what it would be like to have an alternate personality to be a pop star. Just for a day it would be sick, just to try it out.

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