Spellbinding Chamber Pop
Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel took up the piano at a very young age, honing her craft amidst the strains of Bartok and Chopin emanating from the fingers of her musician mother. She later drew inspiration from the work of Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson, and it was between those two worlds that her own sound began to emerge. Citing influences as diverse as PJ Harvey and Claude DeBussy, and drawing comparisons to the likes Ane Brun, Eva Cassidy, and Joni Mitchell, Obel’s 2010 debut, Philharmonics, was written (with the exception of a cover of John Cale’s “I Keep a Close Watch”), performed and produced by the artist herself. Pure, austere, and remarkably poised, the pristine mix of instrumentals and atmospheric, melancholy balladry, was both a critical and commercial success, especially in her native Denmark, where the record went double platinum.