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Monday, Mar. 20, 2017

Agnes Obel

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Opening Act: Ethan Gruska
Danish singer-songwriter and pianist Agnes Obel took up the piano at a very young age, honing her craft amid 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 of Ane Brun, Eva Cassidy, and Joni Mitchell, Obel wrote (with the exception of a cover of John Cale’s “I Keep a Close Watch”), performed, and produced her 2010 debut album, Philharmonics. 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.

With her new album, Citizen of Glass (2016), Obel experimented with her vocals in inventive new ways to manipulate, split, and fragment them into alternative versions of her own voice “in order to make my vocals sound like they are being alternately noticed and disregarded,” as she describes it.

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