Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and collaborator; the mighty Ásgeir has returned with brand new single ‘Unbound’, taken from highly anticipated second album ‘Afterglow’, out 5th May on One Little Indian. Today, the trailblazing musician has shared a brand new video for the incredible lead single, one that deals with an unknown virtual reality world, where the subjects are able to express their deepest and darkest desires, through a futuristic virtual reality contact lens. The video explores their intertwining virtual lives, the perfect interplay between the lyric (written by Thornsteinn – Ásgeir ‘s brother) “Nothing holds me back now” and a virtual world that is yet to exist. WATCH HERE
Director Julien Lassort’s vision was to make something that exemplified the paradoxical idea of a strong bond between strangers – where lives were closely linked but the subjects didn’t know it. The characters are bound together by a mysterious virtual reality game – but their fantasies don’t quite play out how they were supposed to.
‘Unbound’ is a stunning, yearning piece of music – surely a career-defining moment for the musician, who’s follow up to debut album ‘In The Silence’ is greatly anticipated by fans worldwide. The Icelandic artist has spent three years honing and perfecting the eleven tracks that make up this magnificent and affecting body of work. Unplanned track ‘Unbound’ is a glittering menagerie of chirping electronic melodies and stop-start beats that came about in a last minute studio session.
Afterglow has all the confident hallmarks of an artist who’s now at home with his status as one of music’s most exciting new voices – the album ambitiously balances icy electronic shades of Bon Iver, James Blake and Anohni with soul, R&B and even gospel influences from different eras and places. The tracks leave behind the folk-tinged acoustics of 2014 debut album ‘In The Silence’ and dive into melancholic electronica in its purest form. The spell-binding artist has also once again collaborated with producer Guðmundur Kristinn Jónsson and his father – renowned poet Einar Georg Einarsson – for ‘Afterglow’, who is credited with writing the lyrics for the album alongside long-time musical collaborators, Ásgeir’s brother Thorsteinn and Julius Robertsson.
Talking about ‘Afterglow’, Ásgeir said: “I feel like I have achieved plenty already with this album, gotten to know myself better, feel like I’ve grown a lot. Not just because of the album, but it has definitely helped.”
Winner of the 2012 Album of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards, ‘In The Silence’ sold so many copies that it is estimated one-tenth of the population now owns that release. (BBC Radio 2 host, Dermot O’Leary, once tested this theory out, calling a random number in the Icelandic phonebook – the woman who answered not only owned a copy, but Ásgeir’s mother had taught her son at school.) The ubiquity of the album (entitled Dýrð í dauðaþögn in Iceland)alsocaught the attention of musician John Grant, who immediately recognised Ásgeir’s musical talent and ended up translating the lyrics into English for the international version of the album.
The introverted and humble artist couldn’t have predicted the immensity of his success off the back of ‘In The Silence’ – coming from the Icelandic town of Laugarbakki, populated by just 40 people. The same year, Ásgeir sold out two shows at Sydney Opera House, one at Shepard’s Bush Empire and played a mesmerising show at London’s Union Chapel, which sold out months in advance. The album became the fastest selling debut from a home grown artist in Iceland, breaking all previous records and outselling Björk and Sigur Ros by a long way. At just 20 years of age, Ásgeir had become an overnight sensation.