Agnes Obel – Myopia
- Cheri Amour
- 14 February 2020
This article is from 2020
Danish singer-songwriter's new album is introspective and cinematic
Apparently, when working on a new record, Danish-born songwriter Agnes Obel prefers to work as a solo entity in her Berlin home studio. Under self-imposed isolation, she removes all outside influences and distractions during the writing, recording and mixing process. It's also said that to snap out of this singular vision, the platinum-selling artist likes to go to the pictures. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, her latest release Myopia is both introspective and cinematic.
The album marks Obel's first new material since 2016's Citizen of Glass which introduced the ghostly electronics and voice modulation she's since become known for. Those references are all present and correct in Myopia, a self-confessed album about trust and hope. The first teaser from this collection came in the form of 'Broken Sleep', a track pulled along by plucked strings. Obel's cascading melodies tumble around like the fits and bursts of a dreamlike state just out of reach. Elsewhere, 'Drosera' leans more on her classical accomplishments with the haunting keys and slinking flute conjuring up an Exorcist-like suspense. Meanwhile, closer 'Won't You Call Me' paints enchanting moonlit landscapes through Obel's soothing vocals and wild lyricism.
From an anatomical point of view, myopia is a common vision condition where the viewer can see nearby objects clearly, but those farther away are blurry. Of the record's creation, Obel admitted, 'paradoxically, for me, I need to create my own myopia to make music'. And that could be true for us all when it comes to fuelling our New Year enthusiasm at the moment. If you're still struggling to conjure up your big decade energy, follow Agnes Obel's approach with some self-imposed solitude and get intimate with her latest cut of artful chamber pop.
Out Fri 21 Feb on Deutsche Grammophon.