Watch Angel Olsen Perform 'Give It Up' In A Bronx Church Accompanying herself on electric guitar, the singer performs her resolutely earthly song "Give It Up" at the Fordham University Church.

Field Recordings

Watch Angel Olsen Perform In A Bronx ChurchWFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

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.

SET LIST

  • "Give It Up"

CREDITS:

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 Jan. 6, 2017

A previous version of this story located Fordham University Church in Manhattan. It is in the Bronx.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Sting and Shaggy perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 19, 2018. Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Sting And Shaggy

The two musical legends brought plenty of joy to the Tiny Desk, with an unexpected collaboration that works surprisingly well.

Miya Folick plays a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 21, 2019. Jenna Sterner/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jenna Sterner/NPR

Miya Folick

Miya Folick was raised a Buddhist in Santa Ana, Calif., and is of Ukrainian and Japanese descent. She sings of conviction, not fiction.

Gemma Doherty (left) and Morgan MacIntyre performing as Saint Sister during their Tiny Desk Concert at NPR in Washington, D.C. Michael Zamora/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Michael Zamora/NPR

Saint Sister

The group from Ireland makes music that mixes the organic with the electronic, starting with a large, 34-string lever harp.

Imogen Heap plays a Tiny Desk Conert on May 4, 2019 (Colin Marshall/NPR). Colin Marshall/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Colin Marshall/NPR

Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap takes us through her many musical talents, from her Frou Frou musical partner, Guy Sigsworth — and their first new song in 17 years — to an extraordinary performance with musical gloves.

Idles plays a Tiny Desk Concert on May 13, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

IDLES

The British madmen brought fury, cathartic rage and deep thoughts to the Tiny Desk for one of the loudest, most raucous performances in memory.

Foxing plays at the Tiny Desk on May 1, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Foxing

Foxing is at the forefront of an emo revival, heavily influenced by late-'90s and early 2000s groups like Sunny Day Real Estate and American Football.

James Petralli Jessica Hanley/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Jessica Hanley/KCRW

Watch White Denim Perform 'Shanalala'

KCRW

Austin-based band White Denim absolutely tore through its live session on Morning Becomes Eclectic with an energy and swagger that bent KCRW's airwaves.

Ohmme performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on April 18, 2019 (Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR) Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR

Ohmme

These classically trained artists fill the NPR Music offices with shrieking, rhythmic noise that redefines what an electric guitar can do.

Thou performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 9, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Thou

This is probably the quietest you'll ever hear the first metal band to play the Tiny Desk.

Back To Top