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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ones to Watch in 2011: Agnes Obel

I need to introduce you to a very talented new artist from Europe - Agnes Obel. Born in Denmark and based in Berlin, Obel is getting ready to release her debut album, Philharmonics in the UK, after enjoying rave reviews and a seven week reign at the top of the Danish charts. As if that wasn't enough praise, Philharmonics was a Top 10 hit in both France and the Netherlands! Pretty impressive, no? It seems only a matter of time before this talented singer/songwriter takes a stab at world domination. First stop, the UK, when Philharmonics is released May 2nd on Play It Again Sam as a Deluxe Double CD.

While Obel seems to be focused on Europe at the moment, I predict a U.S. invasion at some point this year or next, maybe once her promotional duties are over across the pond. After all, she already has a little traction here in the States based on her hauntingly beautiful song, "Riverside," earning a nice spot on an episode of hit TV series Grey's Anatomy. Check out the stunning video for "Riverside" below.

The album (which I've had the pleasure of listening to) is absolutely gorgeous and a true testament to Obel's gift as an all around artist (look out for a stunning piano intro leading the album off on the right note).  Entirely self-produced and performed, Philharmonics marks the beginning of a very exciting and long career for Obel. Her voice has a very folky feel to it - light and airy but with power behind it. Reminiscent of a more stripped-back Lykke Li or Oh Land, each track on the album ebs and flows, seamlessly transitioning into the next one. Her phrasing and the beautiful instrumentation draw you in to each song, each note, each breath. Absolutely flawless. The 10-track album features a 6-song bonus CD for it's UK release, featuring live recordings taken from her recent residency of sold-out shows in Copenhagen as well as five instrumental piano performances.

An absolutely stunning debut from a stunning artist. U.S. fans, make sure you download her debut album, Philharmonics on iTunes HERE. Obel is currently in the midst of her first headlining UK tour. Check her out on April 15th in Manchester at The Deaf Institute, on April 17th in Glasgow at Captains Rest and on April 18th in Birmingham at Hare & Hounds. Obel's tour started on April 12th where she played at London's Bush Hall. Big things to come from this talented lady! Oh, and who doesn't like a free track?  Why don't you go onto Obel's Facebook page and get a free download!
Check out Agnes Obel on the web:

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In Case You Missed It...Music Video Round Up

SO you all know I LOVE music videos. Turns out I missed a s%@t load of them during my brief hiatus, so instead of going through them one by one...I decided to post them all at once, starting with the oldest. Here we go!

I HEART The Wanted. My favorite new UK boy band. "Gold Forever" is a dance-pop gem from their forthcoming sophomore album. Written and produced by Steve Mac and co-written by Wayne Hector and Claude Kelly the song was the official 2011 Comic Relief Charity single. The single debuted at #3 on the UK Singles chart, going on to become the band's third top-ten hit. Featuring remixes by Steve Smart & Westfunk, and Moto Blanco the single is destined to be a dance club hit as well. The fun video premiered in early March and was filmed on the same set as The King's Speech. Check out the boys and their cute clown noses above. Darling!  Look out for single #2, "Lightning," written by another favorite of mine, Mr. Ed Drewett.

"Gone" (AKA Dilemma Pt. 2) is the latest single from U.S. rapper Nelly's 5.0 album. "Gone" was written by Eric Goody II, Cornell Haynes, Earl Hood, Rico Love and Jim Jonsin (and produced by the latter two). In the Marc Klasfeld-directed video, Kelly Rowland reprises her role as Nelly's love interest, a role she first played in the video for his 2002 hit single, "Dilemma." While not as catchy as "Dilemma" it's nice to see Kelly and Nelly back together again. To date, the song has peaked at #59 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
"I'll Take Care Of You" is the latest single to be lifted off of American Soul artist Gil Scott-Heron's new album, We're New Here. We're New Here is actually a remixed album, produced by Jamie xx (of The xx). Scott-Heron's album was called I'm New Here, and is predominantly a blues and spoken-word album, like many of Scott-Heron's previous albums. Jamie xx seems to infuse electronic-elements into the original material seamlessly. The emotional, beautiful video for "I'll Take Care Of You" was directed by JJ Medina and AG Rojas and follows the story of an extraordinary young woman, single mother and boxer - Nisa Rodriguez. Playing like a mini movie, this stunning video shows the day-in-the-life of Rodriguez. Definitely worth a look.

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