|In The Silence [3 CD, THE DELUXE EDITION]|
Ásgeir — In The Silence [3 CD, THE DELUXE EDITION]
Dýrð í dauðaþögn
≈••≈ Icelandic singer/songwriter who specializes in soulful indie folk songs in the vein of artists like Ben Howard and José González.
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Album release: 24 November 2014
Record Label: One little Indian
Disc 1: Dýrð í dauðaþögn (Icelandic Album)
01. Hærra 3:25
02. Dýrð Í Dauðaþögn 3:56
03. Sumargestur 3:51
04. Leyndarmál 3:37
05. Hljóða Nótt 3:49
06. Nýfallið Regn 3:40
07. Heimförin 4:51
08. Að Grafa Sig Í Fönn 4:16
09. Samhljómur 4:21
10. Þennan Dag 3:46
Disc 2: ‘In The Silence’ (English Album)
01. Higher 3:22
02. In the Silence 3:54
03. Summer Guest 3:44
04. King and Cross 3:32
05. Was There Nothing? 3:48
06. Torrent 3:36
07. Going Home 4:50
08. Head in the Snow 4:14
09. In Harmony 4:18
10. On That Day 3:45
Disc 3: Bonus Tracks
01. Dreaming 4:43
02. Ocean 3:29
03. It Will Rain 3:09
04. Stormurinn 3:34
05. Frost 4:45
06. Soothe This Pain 4:27
07. Nú Hann Blæs 4:57
08. Heart Shaped Box 5:38
09. Torrent (Acoustic) 3:53
10. Going Home (Toe Rag Session) 4:44
11. Summer Guest (Toe Rag Session) 3:55
12. On That Day (Toe Rag Session) 4:20
13. King and Cross (Dot Major Remix) 6:11
14. Torrent (Stay+ Remix) 6:18
15. King and Cross (Liam Howe Remix) 3:55
℗ 2014 One Little Indian Records
≈••≈ Ásgeir's track 'King and Cross' is from the deluxe limited edition of the album 'In The Silence', set for release in Europe on 24 November 2014.
Filming / Camera Man: Ívar Kristján Ívarsson
Editing: Guðm. Kristinn Jónsson
≈••≈ ÁSong recorded and filmed at Studio Hljóðriti, September 2014
≈••≈ Ásgeir is quite possibly Iceland’s biggest musical export of the past twelve months; a year after release of In the Silence, he brings us the Deluxe Edition. Filled to the brim with beauty, the three disc edition of the album delivers the original tracks to a new audience with Dýrð í dauðaþögn, the first disc of this edition which is solely in Icelandic.
≈••≈ Disc two offers the English language version, and the final disc bears a multitude of previously unreleased tracks and remixes including Dot Major (London Grammar) and Liam Howe remixes of ‘King and Cross’.
Produced by Guðmundur Kristinn Jónsson, in Iceland the unusual poetry of Dyrd í dauðathogn attracted almost as much attention as the music itself. Combining both electronic and organic elements with gossamer r’n’b production touches, the songs are light and vibrant, inset with Ásgeir’s distinctively melancholic voice.
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 74–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.
♦ Thursday 23 January 2014 15.00 GMT; Score: ***
♦ Ásgeir Trausti's debut album shines brightest when it ditches the twee indie–folk in favour of jarring electronica.
♦ Online, you can find a list of France's 1,000 biggest–selling singles of all time. For anyone not conversant with the French charts over the past 60 years, it's like something compiled for a joke by a committee involving Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel Farage. Every page provides some new logic–defying outrage. It reveals that France — home to a rich, unique and vastly important pop heritage that stretches from chansonniers to latterday electronica — is the country in which Demis Roussos has sold more singles than the Beatles, where more people bought Bonnie Tyler's Lost in France than Billie Jean by Michael Jackson and where the biggest single by perhaps the most iconic French artist of all, Serge Gainsbourg's Je t´aime … Moi Non Plus, didn't sell as well as Wot? by Captain Sensible, In the Army Now by Status Quo or the theme tune to Dallas. It is the country in which Crazy Frog enjoyed not a novelty hit, but a five–year long career as a Top 20 regular, including three No 1s.
♦ All of which underlines the fact that consideration of a country's most popular records seldom casts its music taste in the kindest light. It's a caveat that looms large when considering In the Silence, the English–language version of Ásgeir Trausti's debut album. Known back home in Reykjavik as Dýrð í dauðaþögn, it is the biggest–selling album in Icelandic history. Three of its 10 tracks have been No 1 singles. Eighteen months after its release, one in 10 people in Iceland own it, apparently. Had the same percentage of the British population bought it, it would have shifted 6m copies here, more than Queen's Greatest Hits has sold over 35 years.
♦ There are people who'll automatically suggest anything that becomes that big that quickly can't be that interesting — that no one became ubiquitous on such a scale without tending to blandness or pandering to the lowest common denominator. Then again, Iceland is a country we like to view as a repository of rock and pop music more strange and intriguing than our own: a hangover from the 90s, when its two biggest musical exports, Björk and Sigur Rós, seemed to embody the kind of individuality and sense of adventure that Britpop had stamped out of mainstream UK alt–rock. Perhaps Icelandic tastes are sufficiently inimitable to make their all–time biggest hit something extraordinary, a thought compounded by the hint of oddness in the album's history. Dýrð í dauðaþögn was a collaboration between Ásgeir and his 73–year–old father, who provided the lyrics: they've been translated into English by Reykjavik resident John Grant.
♦ As it turns out, In the Silence provides evidence for both theories. At root, what Ásgeir offers is acoustic indie-folk of whimsical bent. He is the sort of singer–songwriter unafraid of humming. As rendered by Grant, the lyrics of Summer Guest feature the singer addressing a twittering bird: "I thank you, friend, for this precious melody." The delicate guitar picking sounds not a million miles removed from that of José González, the toothsome melodies recall the Kings of Convenience. When not humming, Ásgeir has a beautiful voice, high and clear, which he uses to sing some very pretty songs, albeit of a kind that seem predestined to waft gently in the background of TV ads or romcoms, notably the title track and Was There Nothing? ♦ Equally, there are moments, including In Harmony, when the drums take on a vaguely militaristic tub–thumping hue, the harmonies become a little more strident, and the whole thing starts to resemble a Nordic take on a recent folk phenomenon from closer to home: it's Mumfjord & Sons.
♦ So far, so generic, but that's not the whole story of In the Silence. Its best moments come when Ásgeir abandons the earthy earnestness of the acoustic guitar in favour of musical scenery that revels in its own artificiality. The opening Higher is based on jarring, glitchy electronics; the only guitar that appears is a sample that really wants you to know it's a sample: the little riff it plays gradually spins out of time with the rest of the music. The rhythm of Head in the Snow clatters and scratches against his choirboy tones.There's something really appealing about hearing music that undercuts the sweetness of Asegir's melodies and his voice, that mitigates the distinct whiff of tweeness.
♦ It's an album that suggest two possible futures for its creator. He could sink into the comforting familiarity of the acoustic singer–songwriter, or he could pursue the more expansive electronic direction. Listening to In the Silence, you can't help but conclude that the latter path would make him a substantially more interesting artist. ♦ It's difficult to tell which he'll pick from his subsequent activity. :: http://www.theguardian.com/
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