Release Date: May 5, 2017
Record label: Embassy of Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Stop everything and listen to the title track to Ásgeir‘s new, second album now. Has there been a better opening track to an album this year? It's phenomenal. He nails this wonderful, rare trick of completely transforming a song with a single word. It’s the way Joe Strummer sang the word ‘lovely’ on Safe European Home, or Amy Winehouse breathed a helpless ‘black’ towards the end of Back To Black; the way he sings the word 'afterglow' is absolutely devastating.
Ásgeir (or 'Ãsgeir', or even 'sgeir' depending on your system formatting limitations) is the most recent addition to Iceland's disproportionately long list of universally popular musical exports. After finding huge domestic success in his home country with Icelandic-language debut 'Dýrð í dauðaþögn', the young songwriter enlisted the talents of lyrical heavyweight John Grant to translate his words for an English-speaking audience. The result, 2014's 'In The Silence', was a beautiful slice of electronic folk-pop of a Nordic bent that blended the quiet power of Bon Iver's most isolate moments with the icy atmospherics of James Blake in a far more assured manner than the two artists managed themselves back on 2011's 'Fall Creek Boys Choir' (although perhaps not than their more recent collaboration 'Need A Forest Fire').