Let me introduce you to my latest obsession. Asgeir, or Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson, is an Icelandic singer songwriter who has been on a sort of meteoric rise (never really knew what that last expression means) since his emergence back in 2012. Having been forged in the land of Ice and Fire, Asgeir has had somewhat of a head start coming from a family rooted in music and poetry. And these factors are prevalent in the atmospheric brand of rhythmic indie-funk (not really sure what else to call it if I’m to be honest).
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Asgeir up close and personal in the confides of St James Church (Dingle) for the world-renowned Other Voices festival. And it was whilst sitting in the front row of the miniscule chapel/music venue/tv studio that I first encountered this curious musical medley.
Originally recorded in his native tongue, Asgeir’s debut album features most prominently in english. This of course was made possible through translation work by the enigmatic American singer, John Grant (who also made an appearance at Other Voices).
The debut offering , from the Icelandic singer-songwriter, ‘In the Silence’ is deep, dark, atmospheric and laden with lyrics and metaphors passed down from his ‘wordsmith’ father. This marriage of hard-hitting, thought-provoking lyrics with captivating electronic musical accompaniment does well to provide a fresh listening experience. But not so fresh to the point where the listener feels somewhat alienated. A sort of happy medium.
OK so here we go, I think it’s about time that I got back up on the proverbial horse and returned to the faithful blog. I do apologise for my lengthy absence but I had the small matter of my final year of College to deal with. But now as I write this post I am free. Free from exams, free from painfully long essays, free from pointless lectures and above all else free from educational slavery. Of course I have to mention that the aforementioned freedoms are subject to me actually passing my final exams and assignments. Fingers crossed though!!
So what have you been up to since my last post here? I’m not addressing any one individual in particular, just trying to be friendly and open up a dialogue so I can tell you everything that I have been up to. So for the past couple of months, as I mentioned above, I’ve been working towards my college degree. This included the production of a documentary film called ‘Under The Influence’ which examined the relationship between video games and their users, but more about that on another day. I also appeared on the radio (can one appear on a primarily auditory medium?) and was asked to give a spiel on the upcoming Irish Festival Season. The blog post for which can be found here. I also have the mp3 file from the interview which I may put up at some stage.
Over the past few months I have received a large number of music submissions from some great bands. Whilst I have not had the time to blog about them it is fair to say that my study playlist was anything but dull. I’ll be catching up on these reviews over the next few weeks so be sure to watch out for the likes of Red Elephant, Analogue Wave, Wolfgirl and many other talented bands.
Finally, you may have (or not) noticed the Roksan logo on the right hand side of the blog. Relax, it’s not some bad attempt at naming my favourite Police song. The good folks at Roksan Audio have kindly lent me their Radius record player for which I will be using to add a new vinyl review section to the blog. I haven’t exactly settled on a name but I’m looking at something along the lines of ‘The Vinyl Countdown’, ‘The Vinyl Frontier’ or something equally as cheesy. To ensure the fruition of this soon to be launched section I am looking for vinyl records (yeah probably the most obvious one) but if you are in a band and have decided to press vinyl or happen to own records that you would like to donate then please get in touch. Secondly, I will be looking to interview some vinyl enthusiasts and collectors, so if you would consider yourself to be such person then please also get in touch.
And so think that’s it. Now that the silence has been broken you can expect a lot more reviews over the coming weeks, months and possibly even years. But for now let’s stick with tradition and finish with a song. (Bet you didn’t see this one coming)
And so here we are, number one. I know I said that I would put this up yesterday but I wanted to build the suspense. There was also the small fact of it being New Years Day and the previous nights festivities did more than enough to keep me from blogging. Which reminds me, Happy New Year!! I cannot think of a better way of starting 2013 then with my number song of, well last year.
2012 has been a great year for the Irish indie-rockers, Delorentos. They graced the stages of prestigious festivals both at home and abroad. They also released their third album, Little Sparks, which has received critical acclaim across the board. And low and behold, my song of the year just so happens to come from said album.
Delorentos – Bullet In A Gun
(Check out the very special live acoustic version below.)
So there we have it. My top 10 tracks of 2012. What did ye make of that? I’ll be amalgamating all individual song’s into one post and putting a Spotify playlist together in the coming days. Be sure to check out my Facebook Page for more details.
And so we reach the halfway point in this list of intricate and inspiring melodies from the year that was due to bring about our Armageddon. I apologise for that little outburst. I am currently suffering from a minor bout of writers block and so I have decided to use this blog post to hopefully jump start my mind. As well as that I am also going to unveil the fifth place song in this highly unique end of year poll.
Mick Flanery – No Way To Live
There was no way I was going to exclude this gravelly voiced corkonian from my top tracks of 2012 list. No Way To Live is taken from Mick Flannery’s very impressive 2012 album, Red To Blue and is a stand out track from the year gone by. The lyrics are poignant, the vocals hard-hitting and the music is overall energetic, uplifting and refreshing. I think that says it all.
Stay tuned for number four.
So naturally I decided to continue this top 10 with number 9.
9. Dry The River – History Book
Dry The River are an English folk band who formed back in 2009. They have released three albums to date and have done well to establish a unique and incomparable sound. History Book is taken from their ‘Shallow Bed’ album which was released earlier this year. It does well to showcase the bands incredibly balanced vocal and musical ability.
Stay tuned for number 8.