Agnes Obel is a Danish singer-songwriter that had charmed many ears and hearts with her 2013 album “Aventine”. The world met a talented melodist who knew how to lift one’s soul with beautiful vocals and airy music.

After a huge tour that made her visit many countries (with stops in Montreal in 2014 and 2016) the 36 year-old musician born in Copenhagen presents her third effort, entitled “Citizen of Glass”, released October 21st on Play It Again Sam Records.

The first three songs of the album (Stretch Your Eyes, Familiar and Red Virgin Soil) appear to me to be a bit more upbeat than the impression “Aventine” had left me. I remember including some of these earlier songs into playlists for relaxing and massotherapy sessions. On “Citizen of Glass”, the mood is different. Less Enya, more Thus Owls, if I could say. Obel’s voice is as beautiful as it was but her music is less “relaxing” than before, except on songs like Stone, on which a few notes on a classical guitar are supporting her magnificent voice. Later, on Trojan Horses, the many layers of her reverberated voice singing together is captivating. Still, there is some tension in this song, a sense of drama that we didn’t expect from Agnes Obel.

 

All this being said, “Citizen of Glass” is an album that deserves to be discovered. It might be a bit destabilizing to her fans who fell for her first album because it feels very different, but once passed this surprise, there are a lot of beautiful moments on this album.

Agnes Obel will play in Canada this winter at Montreal en lumière festival February 28, 2017, at Palais Montcalm in Quebec on March 1st, at Bronson Theatre in Ottawa on March 3 and at The Great Hall of Toronto the next evening, before heading out to the US with dates planned in Washington, Boston, Philly until SXSW in Austin, Texas, where she will play 3 times. More concert dates here.

Agnes’s mother Katja was a jurist and musician that used to play Bartók and Chopin on the piano, leading the young child to learn the instrument. She now lives in Berlin. Her first album “Philharmonics” released in 2010 was certified 5 times platinum in Denmark, platinum in France and Belgium and gold in the Netherlands. Her influences range from Debussy, Ravel and Satie to Nina Simone, Mort Garson, The Smiths, Françoise Hardy and Jan Johansson. She shares her life with photographer and animation artist Alex Brüel Flagstad, who directed many of her music videos.

agnes-obel-citizen-of-glass

AGNES OBEL
Citizen of Glass
(PIAS, 2016)

-Genre: soft airy indie pop
-Recommended if you enjoy Jorane, Thus Owls, Feist, Emily & Ogden

Listen or buy the album on Google Play
Follow the artist via her Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.