In the Silence is the second studio album from the Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir, and is his first all-English album. Cai Llwyd gives it a listen.
Released on January 27, the album features the same songs as his debut album Dýrð í dauðaþögn in Icelandic, but with English-language lyrics by John Grant.
Born and raised in the tiny village of Laugarbakki, – population, 40 – Ásgeir comes from a large family of musicians.
Last year, aged just 20, he became an overnight sensation in his home country with the release of Dýrð í dauðaþögn, breaking all records to become Iceland’s fastest and biggest selling debut album by a home grown artist, even outselling Björk and Sigur Rós.
Three of its 10 tracks have been number one singles and, staggeringly, one in 10 of all Icelanders now own the album.
In essence, In the Silence is a folktronica record, with Torrent the highlight. With a stop-start backdrop that sweeps along majestically, it’s welcomingly melancholic.
The Bon Iver comparisons are inevitable, with more than a passing resemblance to their album For Emma, Forever Ago – In the Silence’s title track, Higher, is especially similar.
Even Ásgeir’s vocals quiver just like Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.
The album suggests two possible paths for its young creator. He could follow the route of being an acoustic singer-songwriter, or he could pursue the electronic direction. I would plead with him to go down the former, but as is typical of the times, the latter would inevitably make him the more popular artist.