Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir has today shared the first single from his forthcoming new album – ‘Youth’ is a reflection of the artist’s childhood. He also announces his third album ‘Bury The Moon’ will be released on 7th February 2020 on Embassy of Music/AdP Records.
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 unmistakeable 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 travellers, 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 andReykjavik 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.”