|Ásgeir — Afterglow [Deluxe Edition]|
Ásgeir — Afterglow [Deluxe Edition] (May 5th 2017) ≈••≈ Icelandic singer/songwriter who specializes in soulful indie folk songs in the vein of artists like Ben Howard and José González.
≈••≈ The Deluxe Edition includes 4 extra bonus tracks including Alternate versions of Unbound & Afterglow
≈••≈ Singer~songwriter, multi~instrumentalist and collaborator; the mighty Ásgeir returns in 2017 with his highly anticipated brand new album, ‘Afterglow’. The Icelandic artist has spent three years honing and and perfecting the eleven tracks that make up this magnificent and affecting body of work. Lead single ‘Unbound’ is a stunning, yearning piece of music — surely a career~defining moment for the musician, who’s follow up to debut album ‘In The Silence’ is greatly anticipated by fans worldwide.
≈••≈ The brand new record, which is released on 5th May 2017, sees Ásgeir depart from the sentiment and sound of his debut album in many ways, bringing a great deal more electronic instrumentation into the fold, and adopting r’n’b and soul elements. The album leaves behind the folk~tinged acoustics of ‘In The Silence’ and dives head first into melancholic, melodic electronica in its purest form. The spell~binding artist has also once again collaborated with his father, Einar Georg, for ‘Afterglow’, who is credited with writing the lyrics for the entire album alongside long~time musical collaborators, Ásgeir’s brother, Thorsteinn, Julius Robertsson & Hogni.
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Album release: May 5th 2017
Record Label: One little Indian
01 Afterglow 4:51
02 Unbound 4:07
03 Stardust 3:45
04 Here Comes the Wave In 3:21
05 Underneath It 4:04
06 Nothing 1:56
07 I Know You Know 3:54
08 Dreaming 4:43
09 New Day 3:48
10 Fennir Yfir 5:08
11 Hold 4:03
12 Afterglow (Alternate Version) 4:49
13 Unbound (Alternate Version) 3:52
14 Where Is My Mind? 4:06
15 Trust 3:11
JASON HELLER. May 1, 20177:00 AM ET
♦ Ásgeir Trausti throws a mean javelin. Or at least he used to. Seven years ago, when he was seventeen, the Icelandic singer~songwriter held his nation’s record for the longest javelin throw. A future as an athlete seemed fairly secure. But a back injury threw a wrench into that dream, and Trausti focused on his second love, music. By 2012, he had the bestselling album in Iceland, Dyrd í dauðathogn, a record of ethereal melody and melancholic meditation. Two years later he recorded his vocals in English and rereleased the album as In the Silence, under the name Ásgeir. It garnered tons of attention and acclaim, and it’s easy to hear why; its mix of organic instrumentation, lilting electronics, and Ásgeir’s otherworldly voice hits a sweet spot between emotion and mystique.♦ It’s a chemistry he’s kept bubbling on his follow~up album, Afterglow.
♦ Despite its title, Afterglow is no mere echo of its predecessor. Although the new album bears a clear relation to In The Silence, Ásgeir strikes out into quietly bolder territory. On the title track, a jittery piano sets the pace for pulses, glitches, and a pensive verse in which Ásgeir sings of “chasing away the shadows.” Although it sets a luminous tone, the shadows creep on “Here Comes The Wave In.” “Watching shadows dancing on the wall / Painting you and me before the fall,” it begins, and the swells of orchestral ambience and stuttering percussion leave plenty of empty space where Ásgeir dwells on the rhythms of loss. But it’s downright cheery compared to “Nothing,” a picked~clean skeleton of a song constructed of choirboy vocals and hauntingly submerged keyboards.
♦ In The Silence left hints that Ásgeir might go on to become a more conventional, guitar~based singer~songwriter, but Afterglow suggests a broader ambition. While never venturing into showiness, tracks like “I Don’t Know You” and “Unbound” resequence the record’s DNA, splicing in a choppy, jumpy cadence that’s jarring and soothing at the same time. It never veers entirely into the realm of experimentalism; instead, Ásgeir’s cut~and~paste tendencies are counterbalanced by the soft contours and whispery delivery of “Nothing” and “Dreaming,” two songs that bob along on drifting currents of loneliness and oblivion. Throughout, his voice is beckoning and immersive — an instrument that begs the listener to bend toward it.
♦ One of the most remarkable things about Ásgeir’s prior work is the fact that his father, the poet Einar Georg Einarsson, wrote the lyrics. He’s also contributed words to Afterglow, as has Ásgeir’s brother Steini. It’s an odd choice for a young, international pop star, yet it makes sense considering Ásgeir’s childhood in a village of only forty people. There’s a tight~knit intimacy and soulfulness to the album that feels familial and warm, even as the music itself carries a glacial chill. There’s nothing conventional or expected about Afterglow, an album that submerges all ego and blissfully loses itself in oceanic imagery and crystalline soundscapes. At the same time, the songs are instantly familiar, like old friends, departed loves, or bittersweet remembrances. Ásgeir may no longer be hurling record~setting javelins, but in a gentler way, his songs soar even farther. — NPR
|Ásgeir — Afterglow [Deluxe Edition]|