agnes950

IF folk-artist Agnes Obel – Copenhagen’s consistently brilliant daughter – and her new release ‘Citizen Of Glass’ showed a continuation of the divergent sound-scapes that has turned the 36-year-old into Denmark’s most important modern star, then new single ‘Stretch Your Eyes’ is the pre-climax to whatever finale she wants to complete.

Without doubt, ‘Stretch Your Eyes’ is the emotive highlight of Obel’s third album. Before the curtain has even had a chance to fall onto the stage floor, the sweeping, African-inspired strings ache, stretch and inevitably rise through a sting of gently swelling patterns. Obel commands them up as her voice, shot with the shy power that is unequivocally her trademark, dances loosely above them. The pre-chorus offers the sort of pleasing melody that would instantly make this a radio favourite, back home and abroad, and by the time the chorus comes ‘Stretch Your Eyes’ already feels like one of her most pop-savvy creations.

With a track like this, it’s difficult to understand whether Obel is doing her best John Barry or Damien Rice impression, or whether in fact those two are just doing their best impressions of her. She is a unique talent that will one day be given the genius status it deserves.

And perhaps it’s coming for her. The signs suggest so. ‘Citizen Of Glass’ – her highest charting album in the UK to date as it broke into the Top 30 – cemented her legacy in Denmark and most likely made the ears pluck up of the odd radio plugger over here. Rightly so.

With a string of European shows scheduled for the year, Obel heads to London’s Roundhouse on June 4.

Words by Clive Hammond

MORE

BLOSSOMS, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
FOR many the last few years have absolutely flown by. Election after election, tragedy after tragedy, humane coming together of community, solidarity, Iceland, the year of the celebrity death, Pokemon Go. Too much to remember. Yet for four lads, who unbeknownst to them spent the whole of their lives living within 2km of each other, […]
NICK MULVEY, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
“WHEN you’re finished changing, you’re finished,” is how the antiquated adage from founding father Benjamin Franklin goes. That ability to be flexible and change when the time is right. Hundreds of years-ago that famous line was uttered, but it’s never felt more relevant, and for former modern-jazz-turned-songwriter-come-newly-christened-father Nick Mulvey, changing and maturing has always been […]
JOE INNES & THE CAVALCADE, FOREIGN DOMESTIC POLICY, INTERVIEW
“You know with this climate at the minute everything is changing,” London-based Joe Innes tell Quenched Music. With his new album ‘Foreign Domestic Policy’ taking years to finally arrange, it’s hardly surprising it’s become a labour of love for the self-confessed post-Brexit indie songwriter. “It took it’s time but that’s because in the time I […]
COMMON PEOPLE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
AS THE final stragglers danced their way from the Common People main stage, the filthy sounds of favourite headliner Sean Paul still ringing around the ears, it was time for the organisers to reflect on how successful this year’s festival was. 40,000 flocked to Southampton’s Common in anticipation of yet another Bank Holiday jaunt on […]
SIMPLE MINDS, MAYFLOWER THEATRE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
IN SIMPLE terms the word ‘acoustic’ means not having electrical amplification. But as Glaswegian new-wave act Simple Minds triumphantly demonstrated to a packed house at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, definitions are subjective. You would be forgiven for expecting longstanding Minds members Jim Kerr, the idyllic vocalist and endearing frontman since the group first formed in 1977, […]
CARELESS PEOPLE, CHARLOTTE OC, ALBUM, RECORDED
FOR SOMETIME, Charlotte Mary O’Connor – aka Charlotte OC – has been the electro-soulstress on the cusp of brilliance. Her 2013 track ‘Colour My Heart’ remains one of the darkened pop classics that finally distanced her from the bratty pop career Sony had once dreamt she would have. And in the four-years since, critics, fans […]