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It was raining in New York on Nov. 9, 2016, and New Yorkers, tired as the rest of the country from a late night after a long election season, walked about in a fog of their own. The sky was still overcast when we met Angel Olsen at the Fordham University Church, an 1845 New York City landmark whose carillon is said to have inspired Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Bells." There, wearing a green raincoat and accompanying herself on electric guitar, she sang "Give It Up," from her excellent 2016 release My Woman.
As with its nine companion tracks, the song is resolutely earthly and painfully human. Her tremulous voice rings out into the vaulted heights of the church as she elevates the fundamental, everyday experience of a troubled relationship. She plays from the pews, not from the altar and stage. That's Olsen's way — singing from the audience's perspective, even as she sings to it.
Producers: Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey, Jim O'Hara; Audio Engineers: Kristal Ho, Lili Huang, José Ozoria, Josh Rogosin; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Editor: Nicole Conflenti; Videographers: Nicole Conflenti, Mito Habe-Evans, Nickolai Hammar; Series Producer: Mito Habe-Evans; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann; Special Thanks: Fordham University, WFUV, Mark and Rachel Dibner of the Argus Fund
Correction: January 6, 2017 12:00 am — A previous version of this story located Fordham University Church in Manhattan. It is in the Bronx.