Earlier in October, Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel released her sophomore album Aventine. Her debut album, titled Philarmonics, was released in 2010 and was a huge hit in Europe. Philarmonics, was dark, melancholic and the tracks were primarily piano driven.
Unsurprisingly, she said that her main sources of inspiration are the works of great pianists such as Erik Satie, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy, each of whom are known for their deep and dark pieces. Being an enthusiast of classical piano music, I particularly enjoyed the work of Agnes Obel on that first album.
The mood on Aventine is essentially the same. The album opens with a short instrumental track, ‘Chord Left’, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. The fleeting right hand playing over a constant recurrent tempo set by the much darker left hand, puts you right into that plaintive, melancholic tone found ever so often in Agnes Obel’s work.
The instrumental then gives way to the second track of the album, ‘Fuel to Fire’ which is my favourite. Instrumentally, the song is a very simple track, just like most of the tracks on her last album. What changes this time around, is the confidence she displays on the track. Where in some places on the last album the vocals could be thin, or less assertive, they triumph on this second track.
Split into two parts by the sixth track, another instrumental, this album has many great moments. The mood is sad, but not despairingly so. The perfect way to describe the mood would be beautifully melancholic.
If ever you find yourself looking out through a frosty window at a barren snow covered landscape, on a cold winter day, all the while, reflecting on love that was lost, this album is the perfect soundtrack for your moment of self-awareness.
For more on Agnes Obel, visit www.agnesobel.com.