A haunted fairy tale
It has been over a decade that Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel has been creating her art. On February 21, 2020 she released her fourth album, Myopia. The word “myopia” can describe being nearsighted or lacking imagination. It’s an interesting choice of title for an album that is anything but inside the box.
The album feels like a journey through an enchanted forest that has one too many dead trees to be in a fairy tale. The first half of the album is light and delicate, like a breezy stroll through the park. Songs like “Broken Sleep” include fluttery piano riffs, played by Obel herself, adding to the airy, delightful sound of the album’s overall tone.
After the album’s title track, “Myopia,” the walk through the forest takes a darker turn. The listener is still in the forest, but this one is more haunted than enchanted. “Can’t Be” features ghostly background vocals. The instrumental focus changes from a prominent piano to an orchestra of strings. The notes are very staccato instead of a flowy, continuous melody.
The album’s last two tracks feel like a goodnight kiss, reverting back to the style of the first half. Listeners are reintroduced to a dominating piano accompanying more lyrical and traditional songs.
If listeners are looking for an out-of-the-box sound, this album would be a good place to look. These songs are meant more to be absorbed rather than listened to. This is music that was carefully crafted to be a 30-minute experience, not just your everyday tunes.