SXSW darling Agnes Obel has announced her new project Citizens of Glass for an October 2016 release.
The acclaimed Danish singer and pianist has won five prizes in the Danish Music Awards: Best Album, Best Pop Release, Best Debut Artist, Best Female Artist, and Best Songwriter. Clearly, she is not new to praise. Even director David Lynch has given high praise to her work, saying “She has the most beautiful voice, unique and extraordinary.”
For Citizens of Glass, the music portrays melancholy and dread, with tinges of hope and optimism. Obel’s unique voice is both powerful and ethereal, and fiercely feminine. Her voice soars high over a deeply interwoven wall of strings and keys. Regarding the instrumentation and composition phase, Obel stated,
“I’m planning to work less with piano, and more with other kinds of old keyboards (…) I’m trying to find new instruments to work with, so it’s sort of on the research phase and starting to write things.” Obel’s work has always been heavily influenced by her piano playing, as she grew up in a house full of musicians that collected unique keyboards and pianos. The video for the single “Familiar” can be viewed below:
On the subject of the title and bleak outlook of the album, Obel explained,
“The title comes from the German concept of the gläserner berger, the human or glass citizen,” Obel explained. “It’s actually a legal term about the level of privacy the individual has in a state, and in health it’s become a term about how much we know about a person’s body or biology or history – if they’re completely made of glass we know everything. There’s an increasing sense in this world that you have to make yourself a bit of glass. To be willing to open up, use yourself as material, and not just if you’re an artist or a musician.
“I worked with the title from the very beginning to push myself to do new things,” she continues. “I wanted to push myself conceptually from the starting point, to push the glass theme throughout the songs in different ways – in the lyrics, in the instruments – to do things in a very new way. As an album, it feels bigger to me, a lot bigger.”
Citizen of Glass Tracklisting
01. Stretch Your Eyes
03. Red Virgin Soil
04. It’s Happening Again
06. Trojan Horses
07. Citizen of Glass
08. Golden Green