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Alternative & Indie - Released February 21, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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First of all, let’s point out that even though Agnes Obel’s fourth opus is titled Myopia, the Berlin-based Dane manages to musically transpose this visual disability using several acoustic treatments that more or less hit their targets. The most blatant example of this is Roscian, a track in three-quarter time that employs a sepulchral piano. Myopia is an album that (not always anecdotally) portrays the adventurous undertaking of moving out of one’s way in order to see a distant reality more clearly, a reality that was previously opaque. In fact, it’s no coincidence that one of the tracks is called Camera’s Rolling: Obel uses this metaphorical development to organically highlight the idea of opening up to the world, and not always settling for such a closed-off environment. For her, the main tool for this opening up is ‘experimentation’. Myopia feels like an extravagant and ethereal laboratory, where the main test subject is the singer’s voice, accompanied by a piano and mostly melancholic synths. Some give their bodies to science; on her part, Agnes Obel has given her voice to music, testing out a plethora of different effects. Like the test tubes of a mad scientist, her singing boldly intersects and blends together, always beautifully harmonic. Her voice is twisted in several different ways, a constant which is at the core of songs which are somewhere between Kate Bush and Scott Walker. She embarked on this adventure alone in her Berlin studio, even though there are moments here and there when a few chords are played by others. There are eerie moments (Drosera and its repetitive chords wouldn’t be out of place in a Dario Argento film), airy moments (Won’t You Call Me with its warm, cosy choirs), ones that evoke the torments of insomnia (Broken Sleep) or death (Island of Doom); her songs astonish above all with their extreme elegance. With Myopia, Agnes Obel hands us a shiny spyglass with which we can clearly see the beauty of why she seems to exist: music. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2014 | Play It Again Sam

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
4 stars out of 5 -- "AVENTINE is a strikingly spare album of great, but frosty, beauty." © TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 21, 2016 | Play It Again Sam

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Following the wonderful debut album, Philharmonics (2010), and the grandiose sophomore attempt, Aventine (2013), the latest album from Agnes Obel proves beyond a doubt that the Danish artist based in Berlin certainly isn’t resting on her laurels, determined to further evolve her unique musical style with Citizen of Glass. Obel has revisited a number of previous compositions and created some genuinely novel sounds with what is a clear (and successful) attempt to go deeper into the emotional heart of her music. On tracks like Familiar, for example, her haunting vocals are paired with none other than herself – and who’d have thought the result so beautiful. Bigger, and more nourishment than ever before for our musical hungers. Sound is like matter in this wonderfully orchestrated third album.
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 30, 2013 | Play It Again Sam

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With Aventine, Agnes Obel gives a little more depth to the intimate, atmospheric and dreamlike world of her first album, the grandiose Philharmonics. Behind a stripped-down piano borrowed from Erik Satie, the Berlin-based Danish artist has added even more grandeur to her miniatures. Her reverberating voice magnifies these immense sonic spaces and  we are left to float along in this sublime sonic material. This waking dream is even more subtle than its predecessor: speckled with a few violins here or a cello there. This record confirms the talent of a timeless musician. © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 30, 2013 | Play It Again Sam

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
4 stars out of 5 -- "AVENTINE is a strikingly spare album of great, but frosty, beauty." © TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 12, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2013 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 29, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 21, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
The follow-up to 2017's acclaimed Citizen of Glass, Myopia is the Danish singer/songwriter's fourth full-length effort and the second collection of songs self-produced in her Berlin home studio. Built on the competing themes of trust and doubt, the aptly named Myopia is Agnes Obel's most insular work to date, continuing in the vein of its predecessor with dramatic pitch-tuned vocals and Gothic chamber pop melodies. Obel has been refining her spectral nocturnes for a decade now, and Myopia, with its fever dream vistas and melancholy abyss, doesn't disappoint. The slowed-down vocals that helped make Citizen of Glass feel so otherworldly appear early on, imbuing "Camera's Rolling," "Island of Doom," and "Broken Sleep" with a sort of incorporeal grandeur -- the latter cut, an arm hair-raising, pre-dawn insomnia hymn, bears both tonal and architectural similarities to COG highlight "Familiar." Intimate closer "Won't You Call Me" impresses as well, administering just enough warmth to suggest a thaw might be possible while maintaining the phantasmal vibe of everything that came before. It also serves as an excellent showcase for Obel's fluid voice; part Ella, part Enya, and part Eraserhead's Lady in the Radiator. Obel dabbles in Lynch-ian dream pop on the titular track ("Have you ever been to my myopia/think of a subtle way to let it go"), but for the most part, Myopia traverses the same darkened hallways as its forbearers, searching for light fixtures amidst the impermeable gloom. It's elegant, regal even, yet so immersed in its icy solitude that the listener is often left looking for cracks in the facade instead of common ground. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 30, 2016 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 20, 2013 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 20, 2013 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 23, 2011 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 18, 2016 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 3, 2017 | Play It Again Sam

Berlin-dwelling Dane Agnes Obel has been racking up the accolades throughout mainland Europe since her platinum-selling 2011 debut, Philharmonics. With the beguiling Citizen of Glass, her third studio long-player, she looks poised to enchant the rest of the world with her dark charms. A classically trained pianist with an elegant and elastic voice, Obel's melancholic chamber pop invokes names like Goldfrapp, Bat for Lashes, and Anna Calvi, but with a succinct aura of Scandinavian refinery. Where her relatively austere prior outings relied largely on piano and strings, Citizen of Glass revels in ghostly electronics and voice modulation, even going so far as to bring in a temperamental, late-'20s monophonic synthesizer called a Trautonium. The string arrangements are more ambitious and the composition style is a bit more opaque, but the ten-track set is unequivocally Obel-esque. Taking its name from the German concept of the gläserner berger, which translates roughly to the glass citizen, Obel explores the idea of transparency in the overshare-heavy digital age. She also grapples with the death of her father and how those two experiences relate to one another, and the results are both elusive and often incredibly moving. The gothic stateliness of "Trojan Horse" -- think Enya by way of Nick Cave -- the elliptical "Golden Green," and the incredibly seductive single "Familiar," the latter of which sees Obel harmonizing with a pitch-shifted, baritone iteration of her voice, all work on multiple levels, doling out liberal amounts of atmosphere, while remaining remarkably earthbound. Obel's penchant for pairing elements of Elizabethan choral polyphony with millennial angst, not to mention her liberal use of spinet and celeste, would seem pedantic in less skilled hands, but there isn't a single moment on the quietly stunning Citizen of Glass that doesn't feel authentic. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 10, 2010 | Play It Again Sam

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Electronic - Released October 6, 2017 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 29, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 3, 2017 | Play It Again Sam

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 19, 2016 | Play It Again Sam

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Agnes Obel in the magazine
  • The paradox of Agnes Obel's Myopia
    The paradox of Agnes Obel's Myopia With "Myopia", the Danish singer delivers an opus which appears to nevertheless have a clear-cut artistic vision...
  • Obel's Opus
    Obel's Opus What happens when Agnes Obel duets with Agnes Obel…
  • Agnes Obel: Qobuz Interview Video
    Agnes Obel: Qobuz Interview Video With her second album, Agnes Obel once again displays her outstanding talent, playing a wide rage of sophisticated music. Qobuz was lucky enough to conduct an exclusive interview with the Danish Be...