|Agnes Obel — Aventine (2013)|
Agnes Obel — Aventine
¤ Weariness and disorientation conveyed through sound … Agnes Obel
¤ "I don't go out and seek inspiration, I think I get my inspiration from the melody. Sometimes I feel like a melody doesn't have anything to do with me, but it's just something that comes, is accumulated from me playing on the piano, and then this little creature just appears." — Agnes Obel about her inspiration in The Quietus
Birth name: Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel
Born: 28 October 1980
Origin: Copenhagen, Denmark
Album release: September 30, 2013
Record Label: Play It Again Sam
01. Chord Left (2:30)
02. Fuel To Fire (5:30)
03. Dorian (4:48)
04. Aventine (4:08)
05. Run Cried The Crawling (4:27)
06. Tokka (1:30)
07. The Curse (5:53)
08. Pass Them By (3:32)
09. Words Are Dead (3:47)
10. Fivefold (1:59)
11. Smoke & Mirrors (2:58)
¤ The new album was written, arranged, and produced by Agnes, who provides piano and vocals. Anne Müller, who has also played with Nils Frahm, adds cello, with Mika Posen of Timber Timbre playing the violin and viola on "The Curse," "Pass Them By" and "Fivefold." Robert Kondorossi of Budzillus also plays guitar on "Pass Them By."
¤ Agnes Obel's touring band currently consists of one, some or all of the following musicians...
¤ Anne Müller — cello, guitar, melodica, backing vocals
¤ Mika Posen — Violin, backing vocals
¤ Gillian Fleetwood — harp, backing vocals
¤ Anne-Christin Schwartz — cello, melodica, backing vocals
¤ Frederique Labbow — cello, guitar, backing vocals
Caroline Sullivan; theguardian.com, Thursday 26 September 2013 22.10 BST
¤ Agnes Obel's pristine, delicate 2010 debut, Philharmonics, was an unexpected platinum-selling sensation in her home country of Denmark, and a hit throughout Europe. The sudden fame left her reeling, and on Aventine, the classically trained pianist/singer has tried to make sense of things. Accompanied mainly by a single cellist, she has created a quiet, watchful record – a response to having spent 18 months in "a blur" of touring. The lyrics are impressionistic sketches (on Fuel to Fire, she sighs: "Roses on parade, they follow you round"), suggesting she saved the real firepower for the exquisite arrangements: sculpting strings and piano into beautifully melancholy ripples. Like Ane Brun and Seventh Tree-era Alison Goldfrapp, Obel is exceedingly good at conveying weariness and disorientation through sound: Run Cried the Crawling's pizzicato-plucked cello and otherworldly violin-swoops evoke the desolation of being awake at 3am, as do The Curse's precise droplets of strings and vocals. A wonderful autumn album. (http://www.theguardian.com/)
¤ Un second album, dans la continuité du précédent (il s'en dégage un charme austere mais terriblement attachant), et qui devrait logiquement obtenir un meme succes.
¤ Agnes Obel lives with Alex Brüel Flagstad. Flagstad is a photographer and an animation artist who directed also the video clips of "Riverside" and "The Curse".
Agent: International: Philipp Jacob-Pahl: firstname.lastname@example.org, Denmark: Peter Sørensen: email@example.com, US: Chris Colbourn: firstname.lastname@example.org
¤ Obel began working on her sophomore album in 2011. In an interview, Obel explained, "There will be new melodies that do not take origin on my life in Berlin or when I was a teenager. I will begin recording this summer when I can take a break from my tour." About her new album, she said, "I started to write new pieces, but all were instrumental ones, with the piano alone… In this moment, I feel more inclined to compose instrumental pieces. I already started to write some texts, but for me, it's more difficult to compose melodies."
¤ In April 2012, Agnes Obel started recording her new album at Lichte Studio in Berlin. In January 2013, Obel finalized her new album with a serial of mixing sessions.
¤ On 20 June, Obel revealed on her Facebook page her new album Aventine would be released on 30 September 2013. A link was also given to various samplers with a traklist of Aventine : 1. Chord Left, 2. Fuel To Fire, 3. Dorian, 4. Aventine, 5. Run Cried The Crawling, 6. Tokka, 7. The Curse, 8. Pass Them By, 9. Words Are Dead, 10. Fivefold, 11. Smoke & Mirrors.
¤ Aventine is one of seven hills surrounding Rome but Obel says : "If i chose this name it's just because i like the way it rings."
¤ On Aventine, Agnes Obel commented : "I recorded everything quite closely, miking everything closely in a small room, with voices here, the piano here — everything is close to you. So it's sparse, but by varying the dynamic range of the songs I could create almost soundscapes. I was able to make something feel big with just these few instruments."
¤ The French magazine Les Inrockuptibles comments: "This new album is, logically and for many people, an event." "The Curse", the lead single from the album, was released on 20 August. The videoclip of "The Curse", with an oniric and vintage aesthetic, was directed by Alex Brüel Flagstad. Les Inrockuptibles gives also a link to discover an another title from Aventine: Fuel to Fire.
¤ Agnes Obel has played at the 'iTunes UK Festival' at the Roundhouse in London on 17 September 2013. The show is avalaible in streaming media on itunes.
¤ Frank Eidel, from quebecspot.com, comments : "It's a fascinating collection of remarquables pieces, with rich and intense arrangements supported by Obel's dazzling voice."
¤ Since 24 September, Aventine is available on itunes. Tom Burgel writes: "The few reactions collected have been very positive and, already, full with love: The elegance of Agnes and the rare grace of her writings will cause, without any doubts, some strong palpitations in the hearts of the amateurs."
¤ The web site Mushroompromotions underlignes : "‘Aventine’ is a beautiful record, intriguingly unhurried. If the first record was a wander through the forest, this one takes the time to see the beauty and feel the texture in a single leaf. It is at once microcosmic and universal. (...) Agnes creates her own world, or as she calls it, a bubble or bell jar, to make her music. Once inside (or should that be outside?), she’s no longer conscious of what’s going on. This is the mystery of her modus operandi, something she cannot explain. Which simply adds to the ethereal quality of her music."
¤ Agnes Obel is influenced by artists such as Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell and PJ Harvey, and also by the French composers Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Erik Satie. She also likes Edgar Allan Poe and photographers Sybille Bergemann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tina Modotti and Alfred Hitchcock. Concerning Hitchcock, she says, "I adore his enigmatic style, his sophisticated esthetic but always with an extreme simplicity." The cover of her first album, photographed by Berlin photographer Mali Lazell, is an 'homage' to The Birds (film).
¤ Since June 2011, Philharmonics is certified gold by the Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA) for sales of 10,000 units. In February 2011, Obel's first album has been nominated for 'Impala European Independent Album of the Year' and the title Riverside (from the Submarino's soundtrack) won the Robert Award for the Best Song of the year 2011.
¤ In October 2011, Agnes Obel wins the 2012 European Border Breakers Awards. The prize celebrate the top new talents in European pop music who "have all succeeded in reaching out to audiences beyond their home country through their talent and energy."
¤ In November 2011, Agnes Obel triumphs at the Danish Music Awards with five prizes for her first album Philharmonics. The artist wins for the Best Album Of The Year, Best Pop Release Of The Year, Best Debut Artist Of The Year, Best Female Artist Of The Year and Best Songwriter Of The Year.
¤ Tuesday, September 17, 2013
¤ ‘Aventine’ is the eagerly anticipated new album from Agnes Obel, out 27th September on [PIAS] Australia. ‘Aventine’ is the follow up to her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Philharmonics’ (2010), which has sold 450,000 copies across Europe, achieving Platinum status in France and Belgium, Gold in Holland and five times Platinum in her native Denmark, where Agnes picked up five Danish Music Awards (the Danish Brits) in 2011.
¤ They say the sophomore album is the most difficult of all. You spend your whole life preparing the debut LP, but as soon as it’s out there, the clock starts ticking for the follow-up. So how did Agnes Obel, European Border Breakers prizewinner in 2012, succeed in avoiding the traditional pitfalls of album two? ‘Aventine’ is Agnes Obel putting things into perspective. A second album adds depth to the picture, otherwise the first record stands alone as a snapshot of brilliance without any real indication of where the journey is heading. ‘Aventine’ is a beautiful record, intriguingly unhurried. If the first record was a wander through the forest, this one takes the time to see the beauty and feel the texture in a single leaf. It is at once microcosmic and universal. All of the songs on ‘Aventine’ were written (music and lyrics), recorded, produced and arranged by Agnes Obel roughly from the beginning of 2012 until late spring 2013, at home in Berlin and in a rented drum studio in the Kreuzberg district. Afficionados may recognize ‘Fuel to Fire’ and ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ from her 2011 shows. Agnes creates her own world, or as she calls it, a bubble or bell jar, to make her music. Once inside (or should that be outside?), she’s no longer conscious of what’s going on. This is the mystery of her modus operandi, something she cannot explain. Which simply adds to the ethereal quality of her music.
¤ It is testimony to her clarity of vision and confidence in her craft that she has sought to recreate the framework of her first LP. Having established the parameters, the magic can begin. ‘Aventine’ consists mainly of piano, vocal (played and sung by Agnes Obel) and cello (Anne Müller also played on Philharmonics and has been a member of the live band since 2009). Three tracks feature violin and viola by Mika Posen, from Canadian band Timber Timbre. ‘Pass Them By’ features guitar by Robert Kondorossi, who also played on ‘Philharmonics’, and ‘Fuel to Fire’ introduces the Scottish harp (played by Gillian Fleetwood). Agnes performs the marvellous balancing act of painting with bolder brushstrokes and more intricate patterns without sacrificing any of the lightness of her being. The album opens with ‘Chord Left’ — an inviting bridge over the water to ‘Philharmonics’ — and leads into ‘Fuel to Fire’, which sets the filmic tone, zooming in close to the snap and crackle of the flames, then retreating into long shot until the fire is a tiny bright dot in a dark and indistinguishable landscape. ‘Aventine’ is a wonderfully melodic opus (even if Agnes claims to find melodies difficult to write), enchanting, haunting, playful. ‘The Curse’ and ‘Run Cried the Crawling’ are the songs Agnes sees as best defining ‘Aventine’ as a whole. “To me, they are the two songs where I think I got closest to the initial idea I had when I started making the album. Both very different from what I’ve done before but, at the same time, very much related to it.” ‘Run Cried the Crawling’ maintains the cinematographic feel to the record. It was always going to be a tall order to go without mentioning Twin Peaks, but if there’s one song which evokes a beautiful lakeside corpse swathed in stories, this is the one. The second album, then, allows us to plot an upward curve in Agnes Obel’s trajectory. A timeless debut is joined by a second album rich in historical references. We see now that Agnes, or rather her music, would be at home in any era — crackling on a fifties jukebox in the diner, soothing the sixties souls at Woodstock, shining like silver spurs in seventies Nashville. Pick any decade. The eighties? She would have made the acoustic stage her own while new wave burned itself out. Trace a line from Bela Bartok to Sandy Denny, from Satie to Lurie (imagine her scoring early Jim Jarmusch movies). “I was seeing and hearing more and more links in the music to all sorts of genres from different times, also outside of the genres that I normally would think of in relation to my music.” ¤ The voice, of course, is at the heart of everything she does. It stays with us long after the needle has lifted from the record. “To me, sounds have always been more interesting than words. I love it when the voice becomes an instrument and you almost forget it’s a human voice. At the same time I knew I wanted to get closer to something I could regard as my own “speaking” voice in the songs, getting close to something that felt like my own state of mind, story and / or voice.” (http://dickthespic.blogspot.com)
|Agnes Obel — Aventine (2013)|