Agnes Obel - Philharmonics

Released: 2011   report error
Top100: 2011

Born in Copenhagen in 1981, Obel claims to be heavily influenced by the classical composers, Bartok, Debussy, Ravel, Satie and popular artists, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell and Jan Johansson. On listening to the 12 songs that comprise Philharmonics, some of these influences can be distinctly heard. Although folk music features all the way through Obel’s compositions, it is the sparse atmospheric sound that is predominant. Obel writes, performs and produces everything herself. She studied the piano from an early age and was taught by her mother. There are three instrumental numbers on this album. The first, Falling, Catching is purely piano solo and immediately Satie springs to mind. The clashing harmonies are pure Bartok and the falling melody is reflected in the title of the song. Loretta combines synth and keyboard sounds with the piano and is characterized by a few simple chords and Wallflower has an ethereal lilting quality combining solo cello with piano. The remaining numbers are all vocal. Obel has a breathy, light voice which is suited to this kind of minimalist style. Many of the songs are multitracked so that Obel is able to produce interesting vocal harmonies. Brother Sparrow and Just So use both piano and guitar accompaniments, both have pretty lilting melodies. Avenue and Over the Hill combine simple chordal harmonies with breathy reflective vocal lines. The album title, Philharmonics uses strong minor chords providing an emotional element which mimics the lyrics. Some songs employ brush drums and many synth combinations as well as the piano adding richer textures to the sound. More upbeat numbers are On Powdered Ground and Beast. However, most of the songs are slow, atmospheric and could be effectively used as a film soundtrack. Indeed Riverside has already been successfully used in the 2010 film, Submarino and also in the TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. Tracklist: 01 – Falling Catching 02 – Riverside 03 – Brother Sparrow 04 – Just So 05 – Beast 06 – Louretta 07 – Avenue 08 – Philharmonics 09 – Close Watch 10 – Wallflower 11 – Over the Hill 12 – On Powdered Ground

  1. Falling, Catching
  2. Riverside
  3. Brother Sparrow
  4. Just So
  5. Beast
  6. Louretta
  7. Avenue
  8. Philharmonics
  9. Close Watch
  10. Wallflower
  11. Over The Hill
  12. On Powdered Ground

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