This week’s luistertip is from Ásgeir Trausti, who hails from a small town in the northwest of Iceland called Laugerbakki, and now resides in Reykjavik. It is here that he released his first album Dýrð í dauðaþögn in September 2012, and it is the music from his debut record that we would now like to recommend that you take a little time to sit and listen to.
We mentioned Ásgeir on the site earlier this year following his appearance at Eurosonic in Groningen (see here), and it is timely now that we put his music into the spotlight once again, prior to his rapidly-approaching next visit to the Netherlands in a few weeks time in Amsterdam and Nijmegen.
His album, the title of which roughly translates as ‘Glory in dead silence’, received critical acclaim in Iceland when it was released – winning four Icelandic Music awards and becoming Iceland’s biggest ever selling debut album by a domestic artist. It also attracted attention outside his home country, not least having been nominated for the prestigious Nordic Music Prize in 2012.
His training as a classical guitarist is recognisable on the album, as is the ‘essence of Ásgeir’ – i.e. his falsetto tones that craft the most beautiful lyrical soundscape in his native tongue – so that means we might not have a clue what he is singing about, but does it matter? Together with his fellow musicians, he creates a richly diverse record – with synth-pop elements and emotional amplified embellishments. Described as an Icelandic Bon Iver (by me, if noone else), it is not surprising to discover that Ásgeir is indeed inspired by a certain Mr Justin Vernon. Have a listen for yourself on these videos, specially selected below, and see if you agree.
First up is ‘Leyndarmál’, recorded in Iceland around the time of the album release. Next up is as an acoustic version of the same track recorded in Groningen (prior to his show at Stadsschouwburg). And finally, we have a quick tour around Iceland to the sounds of ‘Nýfallið regn’ with The Jugging Man (which has been featured on CBS News, MSN and Huffington Post)!
The album is not yet released outside Iceland but can be purchased via Icelandic record outlets such as Tónlist and 12 Tónar. A worldwide distribution deal for Dýrð í dauðaþögn is on its way, as is an English version of the album (due out in the autumn on One Little Indian Records).
Find out about more about the English version of the album – and more – in an exclusive interview that Nordic Vibes had with Ásgeir recently in the lead up to his shows in the Netherlands: coming soon!
Dýrð í dauðaþögn – Released 11 September 2012: