written by Maria Arroyo
Icelandic singer/songwriter, Àsgeir, just recently released his full length album, Bury The Moon. This album is a mix of his incredible songwriting skills and inspirations from different genres and people, including his father, Einar Georg Einarsson.
His first song, “Pictures,” introduces some indie-folk inspirations and a really strong lyrical story. There is a lot of fluidity within this song that translates to the rest of the album as well. The way that he mixes his contemporary side with his folk one creates a song that people can relate to, whilst still be different and unique. “Youth” is one of the first songs that he released from this album. He creates an ambient setting with the use of intricate guitar playing and the effects on the vocals. I definitely think releasing this song was a great way for people to get an idea as to the kind of music Àsgeir wants to create. It’s an easy listen for first-time listeners that may not be familiar with his sound. This song also introduces a strong synth and horn-inspired section that adds a bit of an edgier side to his music.
His next song, “Breathe,” starts off with a beautiful piano and synth-driven accompaniment. There’s a push and pull in his sound, and this song became a great example of this bridge that is built to tie together his softer, contemporary pop sound with his indie-rock inspirations. He is able to fill the space to create a fuller sound without the use of extra instrumentation. He’s methodical about the instruments he uses and has a purpose for every part in the song. This song also introduces a phenomenal build up that works well with the movement of his voice.
“Eventide” adds an element of soul to his acoustic-indie approach. The contour of the melody works well with the movement of the melody in the accompaniment. He takes a more abstract approach when it comes to his lyrics. “A memory warm and dear… she is fickle she’s covered in cold she doesn’t care or thinks she only is…” It invites his listeners to connect to his music in a way that feels important to them. I really got lost in this song and listened to it on repeat a couple times because every new listen brought to surface other ideas that I didn’t notice before.
“Lazy Giants” has a different timbre from the other songs. It’s not upbeat, but a little more intense than the others. He weaves in some ’80’s synth vibes within the accompaniment that adds another layer to his sound. He explores a different side to his music without creating too much of a different sound. These same elements were present in his songs “Rattled Snow” and “Living Water.”
The latter song highlights an intensity that is very apparent and while some of his other songs shared that same intensity, it was overly appreciated in this song. Another song that adds a lot of character to the album is “Turn Gold To Sand.” It pulls together those feelings of R&B and soul with a present electric guitar part. While he brings some of these familiarities to the song, it still felt new and refreshing. This song became a favorite because it ties together all of his nuances but with a different feel and idea for the album.
His last few songs in the album are a mix of other ideas from the previous songs. “Overlay” uses stacked harmonies in cannon with one another and introduces a more present percussive part. This song felt more stripped down, while his other song, “Until Daybreak,” is able to add a techno aspect to the harmonies for a more distinct sound. There is definitely this sense of a deeper meaning to the song that stuck with me.
His final track, “Bury The Moon,” stays rooted in an edgier sound while bringing back a strong focal point for his indie folk side. Even though there are a lot of harsher sound effects in this song, it kept his sound interesting and made for a bold ending to his album.
Overall, I love the stories that he brings to life in his music, and the way he fuses his indie, singer/ songwriter style with a little hint of edge is done really well. I love his energy and deliverance from song to song, and can’t wait for him to release some more material in the future!