A recent explosion of young electro based artists has started to create a little monotony, but Nordic project Asgeir has created a sound of his own.
Iceland is undergoing a revolution and the volcanic island’s musical scene has come a long way since the days of Bjork and the genre-straddling ambience outfit Sigur Ros. Recently, it has produced the folky uplifting melodies of crowd pleasers Of Monsters And Men, a band gaining high success in the UK and regulars on the major festival circuit. New kid on the block is 22 year old Asgeir (impossible to pronounce properly), an electro-folk artist from rural Iceland. Using quivering electronic melodies intertwined with acoustic rhythms and sounds, Asgeir creates beautifully drifting songs that could be backing tracks to the landscape of the country from where he originates.
[quote]Nirvana and his father’s poetry are Asgeir’s biggest influences. [/quote]
His debut album, In the Silence, mixes the bouncy percussive statements of ‘Torrent’ with the soothing tones of ‘Was There Nothing?’ and ‘Going Home’, often delivering falsetto verses and choruses reminiscent of the vocal stylings of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. Citing Nirvana as a big influence plus poetry written by Asgeir’s own father, the album represents a story book with each track a raw masterpiece in its own right, scaling a wide breadth of melodies, harmonies and instrumentals.
Originally released in Icelandic, the album instantly shot to the Icelandic number one spot and captured the heart of a nation. With the help of BRIT nominated singer-songwriter John Grant, the album was translated into English for an international release.
Further releases show that Asgeir can still deliver his unique and engaging style past his debut album. ‘Here It Comes’ was released for world record store day, a track with characteristic magnetism that could be put it on repeat for hours. Progressively building up over the first half of the track, the tension releases into a melting arpeggiated synth creating an almost euphoric experience.
After being brought into the UK public eye with an appearance on Made In Chelsea and with his songs being heavily featured in the shows soundtrack, it can be forgiven to think that Asgeir would have made it onto the British music scene. Thus far, however, he only has a handful of London gigs to his name and a few spins on BBC Radio 2. If Asgeir can break past the Scandinavian barrier and keep producing his haunting arrangements, he will have no problem making his music a staple of radio playlists around Europe. Watch this space.
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