New Music 07/2020 – Eivør, Agnes Obel

It’s the month of the Kingdom of Denmark! Featuring my new discovery from the Faroe Islands, and an old Danish favourite.

EivørLive in Tórshavn

I came across Eivør while on YouTube one day, and quickly decided that I preferred her live recordings to the studio ones, so it made sense to go with this 2019 live album, a collection of sixteen songs in both English and Eivør’s native tongue. Her dreamlike sound is a blend of traditional Faroese ballads, contemporary pop and folktronica, but what truly stands out is Eivør’s distinctive and versatile voice. Sometimes it’s high and breathy, other times it’s powerful and weirdly primeval; some of her vocal swoops make me think of Kate Bush and in other songs she sounds eerily like Sarah Blasko. On Tròdlabùndin, the tribal drum-driven highlight of the album, she even does some throat-singing.

Agnes Obel – Myopia

At some point I might decide that I’ve got enough of Agnes Obel’s moody ghostly chamber pop sitting on my shelves, but that day is not here yet. I really love her hushed vocals and her ethereal, contemplative vibe; her beautiful songs often remind me of delicate frost paintings on the window pane. The black-and-blue cover sums up the record pretty well: while her earlier albums had occasional upbeat moments, Myopia is inward-looking melancholia from start to finish, with spooky vocal effects and atmospheric piano. It’s the music to listen to alone on a dark winter night (preferably with the snow falling outside your window, but down here in Melbourne a winter rain will do).

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