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Ásgeir — In the Silence [Australian Deluxe Edition] (2014)

 Ásgeir — In the Silence [Australian Deluxe Edition] (January 27, 2014)

         Ásgeir — In the Silence [Australian Deluxe Edition]NOMINATED ÁSGEIR.
♠   Icelandic singer/songwriter who specializes in soulful indie folk songs in the vein of artists like Ben Howard and José González.
♠   In The Silence is the second album from Icelandic singer–songwriter Ásgeir Trausti. The album is the English language version of debut album Dýrð í dauðaþögn. When released in his native Iceland, Dýrð í dauðaþögn became the best–selling debut album of all time and went triple Platinum.
Birth name: Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson
Also known as: Ásgeir Trausti
Born: 1 July 1992, Laugarbakki, Iceland
Instruments: Vocals, guitar, piano
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Album release: January 27, 2014
Record Label: One Little Indian label
Duration:     57:09
Tracks:
01. Higher        3:24
02. In the Silence        3:55
03. Summer Guest        3:45
04. King and Cross        3:33
05. Was There Nothing?        3:49
06. Torrent        3:36
07. Going Home        4:51
08. Head in the Snow        4:14
09. In Harmony        4:19
10. On That Day        3:46
11. Lupin Intrigue        4:43
12. Soothe This Pain        4:25
13. Going Home (Acoustic Toe Rag Session)        4:42
14. On That Day (Acoustic Toe Rag Session)        3:51
15. Summer Guest (Acoustic Toe Rag Session)        4:16
Dyrd í Dauðathognand
AWARDS:
2014 European Commission   European Border Breakers Award Ásgeir Won
2012 Kraumur Awards   Kraumur Award 2012   Dýrð í dauðaþögn   Won
2012 Icelandicmusic.com's Online Achievement Award Ásgeir Trausti Won
2012 Album of the Year   Dýrð í dauðaþögn   Won
2012 Best Newcomer (Pop, rock & blues)   Ásgeir Trausti   Won
2012 Public Choice Award   Ásgeir Trausti   Won
REVIEW
BY LAURENCE DAY • 22 OCTOBER 2013 • SCORE: 8.5/10
♠   As guitarist for The Lovely Lion, he made just a slight impact on a global scale — but assuming a solo guise, Ásgeir (or to be full–named, Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson) is set to ensnare anyone whose tickers are still beating red goo. He’s poised to usurp both Björk and Sigur Rós as Iceland’s foremost musical exports, after snatching a swath of awards and breaking a smorgasbord of records at the ripe old age of 21. 
♠   Back in Iceland, his first record, which 1 in 10 Icelanders own (it’s the best–selling album ever in his home nation), has made him a folk hero. One of his songs “Hvítir Skór” (a collaboration with rapper Blaz Roca) even spent nine weeks perched atop the Icelandic charts. It’s not particularly representative of his standard style, however.
♠   What you can expect from Ásgeir is, for lack of a better word, beautiful.  In The Silence is a rough repackaging of his LP Dýrð í dauðaþögn for a global market; evidently, for native English speakers (Dýrð í dauðaþögn just rolls off the tongue). He’s won over Scandinavian denizens with a sound that trisects the meeting point of Bon Iver, Ben Howard and modern–day Sin Fang. There’s even a jigger of Norwegian R&B–er Truls thrown in. What this boils down to is a sound that’s swimming in falsetto, folk–pop and gorgeous poetry (much of which is written by his pen–wielding 72–year old father). However, for his premiere English language outing, he’s enlisted none other than bloody John Grant to aid translation and re–production.
♠   Of the music actually on In The Silence, you may have already heard Ásgeir’s disarmingly wonderful ditty, “King and Cross”. Blending the jerky strum of acoustic guitar with lucid funk bass grooves and semi–jazz drum beats was a bold gamble, but the result is a folktronica anthem (if ever there was such a thing) that oozes swagger out of every pore. “Hide Your Head In The Snow” warps the boundaries of folk too. Erratic, blurred percussion scuttles beneath gentle arpeggios; it’s got an East London vibe to the production, like kwes. has had a cheeky delve — not what you’d expect from a folk singer from Iceland.
♠   Some tunes are more in line with expectations. “Was There Nothing” features delicate fingerpicking and chorus–laden vocals, like any stellar acoustic folk cut does these days. The melodies sparkle, and although Ásgeir is singing a heartbreaking lament, there’s an innate summer–meadow atmosphere. It’s tranquil to the extreme, almost to the point of isolation — though it feels isolated, due to sparse instrumentation and gossamer hooks, it’s not a lonely track. It’s content (even with the contrasting lyrical themes). “Torrent” is the kind of piano–led Scandi–pop that might be spouted by a Sigur Rós side–project; it’s full of wide–eyed zest like a curious stag, there’s the rumblings of a makeshift folk orchestra and a callous disregard for continuity. Passages rise and fall, dropping in and out, with dynamic swerves and rhythmic atrophy.
♠   You can debate whether this record is even needed until the cows come home, but the fact is, despite being the biggest of big deals in Iceland, without the commercial clout of an English language release, very few outside of the country would have ever heard of Ásgeir. As such, for most people, In The Silence will be the first interaction with him, and even though it’s a translation rather than a full collection of new material, it still possesses a certain magic for those already acquainted with his output.
♠   In The Silence is a complete package. It’s got pristine pop lacquer, it’s full of hum–along motifs, it’s got moments you can dance to and moments you can chill to; the lyrics are emotive, and every instrumental performance is as powerful as the Ark Of The Covenant. There’s nary a misstep, and yet, it still sounds as raw as a carcass in a butcher’s window. This may be the second time it’s had producers poke and jab, but it’s not overwrought or varnished with industrial blandness. It’s a rare jewel of an album that can boast all these qualities, and really is a testament to the talent that Ásgeir possesses. Fortaken: http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/
Artist Biography by James Christopher Monger
♠   Born Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson in the diminutive hamlet of Laugarbakki, Icelandic singer/songwriter Ásgeir specializes in soulful and intimate, electronic–tinged indie folk songs in the vein of artists like Ben Howard, Bon Iver, and José González. An overnight success in his native Iceland, where the then 21–year–old released his 2012 debut album, Dyrd í Dauðathognand, and quickly broke every regional record in the book (it's estimated that almost ten percent of the Icelandic population owns the album), Ásgeir's unique songs are made all the more idiosyncratic by the fact that his 72-year-old father provides the majority of the lyrics. In 2013, with the help of Iceland-based American singer/songwriter John Grant, who helped to translate the lyrics, Asgeir released an English version of Dyrd í Dauðathognand (In the Silence) on the One Little Indian label.
REVIEW
Kitty Empire • The Observer • Sunday 26 January 2014 • Score: ***
♠   Particularly assiduous fans of singer–songwriter John Grant will already know about Iceland's hottest new export, Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson, and his debut album. Grant, a confirmed polyglot, was asked to do the English translations of the lyrics on Ásgeir's Dýrð í Dauðaþögn, which came out in Iceland last year. At the time, Grant was in Iceland working on his most recent album, Pale Green Ghosts; he later took Ásgeir on tour with him.
♠   The ursine, middle–aged midwesterner and the waiflike, twentynothing Icelander might not seem the most likely candidates for a fanbase overlap, but you can see some simpatico in the combination of straight balladry and tricksy little electronic elements that fills In the Silence. Last year it became the biggest– and fastest–selling record by a home–grown Icelandic artist ever, outranking even blue–chip names like Björk and Sigur Rós. Apparently one in 10 of the population owns a copy. Something about In the Silence is speaking very directly to Icelanders, and One Little Indian — the home of Björk, of course — hope that same something will sing out to an international audience.
♠   In essence, though, In the Silence is a contemplative folktronica record with more than a passing resemblance to Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago — especially if that log cabin came equipped with a piano and a live brass section. All wounded and vulnerable, Ásgeir quavers just like Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. He's then layered to slightly otherworldly effect, a timbre that can't fail to bring to mind Sigur Rós.
♠   As fans of Jónsi, Thom Yorke or James Blake will know, there is something evocative about the male voice when it is throttled to a falsetto, or muted to a ghost of a croon. It's this young–man–lost appeal that drives In the Silence, which pivots on the impression that some great hurt has befallen Ásgeir, whose scraggly beard and thousand-yard stare back up the notion. Fortaken: http://www.theguardian.com/
Also:
By Robert Duffy • 10/02/13 • Score: 9.4
♠   ... Ásgeir's unique vocals and perfect compositions, coupled with the otherworldly lyrics written by his father and Júlíus Róbertsson, make In The Silence the "must hear" musical experience of the year. This is one to stand the test of time, and along with the original version, it'll be on my top shelf albums. Kudos must go to multilinguist John Grant for translating these lyrics without losing much if any of their meaning, worth the wait.
Read more at:  • http://www.bitcandy.com/reviews/asgeir/inthesilence#TlUwZoxGRJ135TiB.99
By Ceiri O'Douglas | posted on 24 Jan 2014 | Score: ****
♠   ... With such beautiful poetry and visual imagery at the heart of the music, it seems just a tiny bit funny to see it flow out of the five beardy, beanie–hatted motionless young men who comprise the Ásgeir live set up. But with such impressive source material to play, they hardly need to embellish it.
•  http://www.musicomh.com/reviews/albums/asgeir-silence
By Max Mazonowicz • 20th January 2014 02:00:00 •
♠   ... You could make the case that actually, the English translation has dampened In The Silence; as Sigur Ros have shown, use of the Icelandic language — albeit their own version — adds something ethereal to the mix. That would possibly have been the case here, too. Still, the swirling mix of subdued beats, sweet vocals, and soft guitars put this in a place all of its own.
•  http://music.thedigitalfix.com/content/19994/asgeir-review.html
_______________________________________________________________
My bird flies home from afar,
brings the joy of spring to me.
Over the ocean’s endless blue,
he never fails.
His path is clear and true.
Perched upon a branch of green,
he rests his legs from the long journey.
Warms my heart with wondrous song.
I listen close.
He tells of battles won.
From my heart, I thank you friend
for this precious melody —
for these sweet and pure tones,
sweet and pure tones.
When the autumn comes again,
I ask you from my heart, my friend,
that you’d have me sing your song.
Oh, summer guest,
I’ll miss you while you’re gone.
From my heart, I thank you friend
for this precious melody —
for these sweet and pure tones,
sweet and pure tones.
You’ve made a shelter for my soul.
If your language I could speak,
I would weave a song for you of my own.
_______________________________________________________________
Website: http://asgeirmusic.com/
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/%C3%81sgeirtrausti
Iceland Music Export: http://www.icelandmusic.is/music/artists/asgeir-trausti/609
_______________________________________________________________

Ásgeir — In the Silence [Australian Deluxe Edition] (2014)

 

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