Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir has shared the first single & video from his forthcoming new album – premiered with KEXP, “Youth” is a reflection of the artist’s childhood. He also announces his third album Bury The Moon will be released on February 7, 2020, on One Little Indian Records, with a full UK/EU/US tour to coincide.
Ásgeir returns to his Icelandic folk roots for lead single ‘Youth’ – written in collaboration with his admired poet father Einar Georg Einarsson and translated by John Grant, the song documents his childhood growing up in a small Icelandic town, unburdened by worry and full of unbridled joy. The stunning track swells with horns and hushed acoustic guitars, Ásgeir’s unmistakable honey-soaked vocal soaring across weaving instrumental melodies, culminating in an anthemic peak that exudes nostalgia.
The enigmatic artist makes music that penetrates a little deeper than most. His debut album soared to success in his native land, before English language edition In The Silence connected with an entirely new audience. An artist of rare scope, sincerity, and emotion, his next step might well be his bravest, and his most enduring.
The story of Bury The Moon – or Sátt, to give the record its Icelandic title – begins with heartbreak and escape. Ásgeir watched a long-term relationship disintegrate, and decided that he needed to get away, to lose himself in the endless Icelandic countryside. Retreating to a summerhouse – a tiny rural home used by those on the island – he spent the winter writing, just him, his guitar, and those endless reflections on love and loss.
At times, Bury The Moon is a bruising, achingly personal experience, with shades of the endless isolation Ásgeir put himself through in that remote summerhouse. “I took my guitar, a small keyboard, and a very simple recording set up,” he recalls. “And that was it.”
Days, weeks went past, with close friends dropping by to hand over food parcels, and words of encouragement. “I’ve always had this longing to go somewhere on my own,” he says. “I think it was really good to go there and just think about music and have no distractions whatsoever. I went out running in the morning and then I wrote all day”.
Unfurling his new ideas in the studio, he started to gather like-minds, fellow travelers, and guest lyricists to work on his music. Indeed, that’s the way he’s always worked – Ásgeir sculpts the melodies, the arrangements, while the words form this counterbalance, penned by other figures.
Einar Georg Einarsson wrote many of the lyrics for Ásgeir’s extraordinary debut, and this partnership has only strengthened and deepened their father-son relationship. “I think the lyrical side of the album is, at times, a bit more personal for me now, because my Dad and I did it together. We spent a lot of time together”.
In accepting his own imperfections, Ásgeir may well have produced his most remarkable work yet. American songwriter and Reykjavik resident John Grant assisted on translating the lyrics to English, but the voice could only belong to one person. It’s the same voice that drove debut album In The Silence to such astonishing heights. Not that this success phases Ásgeir – his concentration is solely on the craft, on the art, and on his fans.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions, and how it sits with people,” he says. “I wanted to take the project back to its roots, in a way, and make it more about honesty: honest songs with strong melodies and lyrics.”
Stream & Download Youth https://asgeir.lnk.to/Youth
2020 TOUR DATES:
2/7: Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
2/8: Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
2/9: Glasgow, SCT @ Classic Grand
2/11: Bristol, UK @ SWX
2/12: London, UK @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
2/14: Brussels, BE @ Botanique – Orangerie
2/17: Paris, FR @ Le Trianon
2/18: Rotterdam, NL @ Stadsschouwburg
2/19: Groningen, NL @ Stadsschouwburg
2/20: Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
2/22: Malmo, SE @ Babel
2/23: Stockholm, SE @ Vasateatern
2/24: Oslo, NO @ Rockefeller Music Hall
2/26: Copenhagen, DK @ Vega
2/27: Aarhus, DK @ VoxHall
2/28: Hamburg, DE @ Mojo Club
2/29: Berlin, DE @ Passionskirche
3/4: Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Vancouver
3/6: Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre
3/7: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
3/9: San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
3/10: Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram
3/12: Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
3/14: Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
3/15: Denver, CO @ Bluebird
3/17: Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
3/18: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
3/20: Nashville, TN @ Exit In
3/21: Durham, NC@ Motorco Music Hall
3/22: Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
3/24: Washington, DC @ Union Stage
3/25: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
3/27: Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
3/28: Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
3/30: Quebec, QC @ Le D’Auteuil
3/31: Montreal, QC @ L’Astral
PRAISE FOR ‘AFTERGLOWW’
“Mix of organic instrumentation, lilting electronics, and Ásgeir’s otherworldly voice hits a sweet spot between emotion and mystique.” – NPR
“Gleaming piece of electro-pop, R&B-smooth keys creating a reflective pool off which Ásgeir’s shimmering vocals bounce.” – Consequence of Sound
“Wonderful moments such as the chaotic creativity of ‘Here Comes The Wave In,’ the bold ballad ‘New Day’ and the elegiac ‘Hold.’” – Uncut
Photo Credit: Anna Maggý
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