Ásgeir: In The Silence

June 27, 2016

asgeir1Shelter from the Storm

Listening Post 53. Art expresses universal themes shaped by a specific environment and individual talent. For the singer-songwriter Ásgeir Trausti, the environment is Iceland, and his music reflects the tension between uncontrollable forces of nature and the human quest for shelter and love. In the songs of his debut album In the Silence (Dýrð í dauðaþögn)—the iTunes deluxe edition carries Icelandic and English versions of each song—his gentle, ethereal voice and acoustic guitar contrast with the sound and fury of drum, bass and keyboards that echo the natural world. Summer Guest (Sumargestur) is an ode to a migratory bird during a short season: “Perched upon a branch of green/He rests his legs from the long journey/Warms my heart with one true song,” Ásgeir sings (video 1). On That Day (þennan Dag) is a lyric poem about ephemeral intimacy; “I still think about the possibility of love,” he muses, “I see reflections of that moment now/From that day, just a fleeting glimpse that will not stay” (video 2). Nowhere is the indoor-outdoor polarity more apparent than in Torrent (Nýfallið Regn), in which the storm is a melancholy metaphor for cleansing and Ásgeir’s words reflect the search for comfort: “Merciless though the wind takes hold with freezing cold/Come, my friend, sit with me; take council in the warmth (video 3). The soft drumbeat of movement is the common thread of three captivating folk melodies: the title track; Going Home (Heimförin); and In Harmony (Samhljómur). What works as shelter in Iceland offers tranquility anywhere. (One Little Indian Records)






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