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Ásgeir: A Vibrant Icelandic Voice

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Asegir performs in the Soundcheck studio. Asegir performs in the Soundcheck studio. (Michael Katzif / WNYC)

In a very short time, Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir has emerged as something of an overnight sensation in his home, built on the strength of his first record, In The Silence. It became the fastest-selling debut from a homegrown artist -- surpassing the likes of Bjork and Sigur Rós -- and it's estimated that one in ten people in the country own the album. Remarkably still only 21, Ásgeir's breakthrough also earned him four Iceland Music Awards and a nomination for the prestigious Nordic Music Prize, and appearances at South By Southwest this past March.

A year later, Ásgeir is set to globally re-release the album In The Silence, taking the Icelandic-sung lyrics -- based on poetry by his 72 year-old father -- and reworking them into English with with translations from singer-songwriter John Grant. Airy and melancholy, these tracks set Ásgeir's vibrant voice over a mix of piano, acoustic guitar, and electronic elements -- resulting in a sound that is sure to win over fans of Bon Iver and James Blake here in the U.S. 

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