Agnes Obel

I’ve already waxed lyrical about my love for Dustin O’Halloran‘s latest album, Lumiere, and I’ve gotten such a buzz out of hearing from other people who’ve fallen for it too. It’s a work of beauty, check it out.

Here’s another album that I fell for last year and seeing as its creator is playing in Dublin this April, it’s only fair that I tell you more about it.

This time, it’s a Danish musician, Agnes Obel, who has created songs that make my heart weep. Her album Philharmonics, was released in 2010 and has slowly but surely nestled itself into my soul. All of the songs are piano-based – some, like ‘Brother Sparrow’, are augmented by guitar. There are some instrumental tracks scattered throughout (such as the haunting opening track, ‘Falling Catching’) but the majority feature vocals from Obel.

And what a voice she has… with delicate yet clipped inflections, a calm and strong delivery that is nonetheless embued with tenderness; harmonies that flutter around each other; everything anchored by her solid piano-playing.

Philharmonics transports me to a black-and-white imaginary world, one with forests inhabited by witches, a wolf around every wooden corner and snow-powdered paths that lead to who-knows-where.  But like all the best fairytales, there awaits a happy ending.

Agnes Obel plays The Sugar Club on Saturday 16 April. Tickets €15 from and


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