Aventine by Agnes Obel (Album)

24 September, 2013 in Music Reviews

Agnes Obel

Agnes Obel offers fans a record that’s haunting, beautiful and a little sinister, on the follow-up to debut album ‘Philharmonics’

Agnes Obel Aventineventine is the second album from Danish songwriter Agnes Obel, the follow-up to 2010’s multi-award-winning Philharmonics, an album that led to Obel winning Best Songwriter Of The Year at the 2011 Danish Music Awards. It’s high praise – and raises the expectations even higher.

Such praise and expectations though are clearly merited, as Obel writes the most brilliant piano melodies backed by a vocal that rings through like a more fragile, haunted Florence Welch. Coming across like a folk-inflected rendition of The xx, with their frosty atmospherics finding a place throughout Aventine’s 11 tracks, Obel doesn’t deviate drastically from the style that was so bitterly infectious on Philharmonics, just adds a further layer of quality to her excellent songwriting.

With tracks like Chord Left, Words Are Dead and Tokka as sinister as they are sombre, Aventine is near chamber music, the sort that pulls on the tear ducts as and leaves the limbs a little heavier, as the corners of your room grow ever closer and the light fades to a dull blink; the type of music that Danny Elfman once was the master of.

Though it’s hardly music to put a bounce in the step, Obel’s second record finds an artist continuing to grow, while all the time leaving enough of what made her first album so good in tow for existing fans to be both reassured and delighted at the direction her music is taking.

Verdict: An assured sophomore release from the award-winning Dane

Damien Girling