Ásgeir today shares the second single & video from his forthcoming new album Bury The Moon – new track “Lazy Giants,” premiered with a Consequence of Sound Origins feature, peers into the lingering spectre of economic collapse. Born out of an old demo recording session, the song we hear today is drastically different from the country-folk guitar driven original. Vintage keys and synths shimmer atop a crisp drumbeat – the sparse song shivers with the echoes of isolation.
The lauded Icelandic artist makes music that penetrates a little deeper than most. A potent Icelandic songwriter, his debut album soared to success in his native land, before English language edition In The Silence connected with an entirely new audience. An artist of rare scope, sincerity, and emotion, his next step might well be his bravest, and his most enduring. Bury The Moon – or Sátt, to give the record its Icelandic title – is out on February 7 on One Little Indian Records. He’ll follow it with an international tour – dates below & here.
Bury The Moon begins with escape. Ásgeir left Reykjavik to go and write at a friend’s summerhouse in the Icelandic countryside. He spent the winter writing, just himself and his guitar, abandoning the studio set up and full band affair that produced “Afterglow.” “I took my guitar, a small keyboard, and a very simple recording set up,” he recalls. “And that was it.”
Days, weeks went past, friends would stop by to offer words of encouragement. “I’ve always had this longing to go somewhere on my own,” he says. “I think it was really good to go there and just think about music and have no distractions whatsoever. I went out running in the morning and then I wrote all day.”
The songs tumbled forth. Acoustic meditations intermingled with keyboard reflections, before Ásgeir was finally ready to return. “I went with just the guitar and piano for a reason,” he comments. “I wanted to make a simple album that didn’t process too much or think too much. It would just be what the songs were and nothing more than that.”
Unfurling his new ideas in the studio, he started to gather like-minds, fellow travelers, and guest lyricists to work on his music. Indeed, that’s the way he’s always worked – Ásgeir sculpts the melodies, the arrangements, while the words form this counterbalance, penned by other figures.
Einar Georg Einarsson wrote many of the lyrics for Ásgeir’s extraordinary debut, and this partnership has only strengthened and deepened their father-son relationship. “I think the lyrical side of the album is, at times, a bit more personal for me now, because my Dad and I did it together. We spent a lot of time together.”
At times, Bury The Moon is a bruising, achingly personal experience, with shades of the endless isolation Ásgeir put himself through in that remote summerhouse.
In accepting his own imperfections, Ásgeir may well have produced his most remarkable work yet. American songwriter and Reykjavik resident John Grant assisted on translating the lyrics to English, but the voice could only belong to one person. It’s the same voice that drove debut album In The Silence to such astonishing heights. Not that this success phases Ásgeir – his concentration is solely on the craft, on the art, and on his fans.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions, and how it sits with people,” he says. “I wanted to take the project back to its roots, in a way, and make it more about honesty: honest songs with strong melodies and lyrics.”
US/Canada Tour Dates
3/4: Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Vancouver
3/6: Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre
3/7: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
3/9: San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall