There’s a lot happening in the music world, and we here at Heavy Blog try our very best to keep up with it! Like the vast majority of heavy music fans, our tastes are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a bi-weekly column which covers noteworthy tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. As is tradition, we’ll be highlighting a few albums and tracks that struck our fancy over the past few weeks. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:
Agnes Obel – Myopia
Sometimes I just need a soundtrack to stare at the moon to. The kind of music that allows me to ever so briefly lift my mind beyond this mortal coil to commune with the stars. It’s pretty rare that I find records that elevate me to this hallowed space, but Agnes Obel fourth full-length record Myopia delivers in spades. Spacious, lush, intricate and emotionally weighty, Myopia is a record to close your eyes and get lost in when you’re in the mood for some form of hazy musical transcendence.
I was first introduced to Agnes Obel, as I assume many were, by her work popping up periodically on the soundtrack for HBO’s excellent Big Little Lies. A deep dive into her catalog reveals a menagerie of sounds that feel tailor-made for late-night listening sessions while contemplating the meaning of existence. Blending new age classical elements with a folk/indie chamber pop aesthetic in uniformly effective ways, Obel has yet to take a misstep in her career, and Myopia may be her most heady statement yet. “Island of Doom” encapsulates the tone of this record well, featuring cyclical piano passages that wrap themselves around a quiet but ever-present undercurrent of atmosphere, all punctuated by Obel’s gorgeous, gently mythical vocals which weave in and out of effects-laden, alien sounding gorgeousness. Take the prim epic strangeness of Julia Holter and mix it with the wistfulness and Ane Brun or Lisa Hannigan and you’ll get close to the sounds conjured here.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time with this record, and I can definitely state that it has fast worked its way up my list of favorite records I’ve heard so far this year. Obel knocks it out of the park in every measurable metric here, and I cannot wait to see where she takes her music next. I just hope it’s straight back to the constellations, which is where most minds should sit while her music overtakes our senses. Another superb outing.