July 21, 2017
Iceland is largely an arctic desert punctuated by mountains, glaciers, geysers, hot springs, volcanoes and waterfalls.
It is one of the most beautiful places on this earthround.
A lot of its musical exports seem quite exotic and at times quirky outside of the realms of Snæland.
However, if you have experienced the Republic of Iceland and delved into the context artists like Sigur Ros or Björk emerge from, it makes perfect sense.
From the Icelandic town of Laugarbakki, populated by just 40 people, Ásgeir is every bit as introverted, humble and unassuming as he is gifted. Having left his folk-tinged roots behind, Ásgeir’s incarnation in Sydney was heavy on pure yearning, melancholic and melodic electronica.
Modest, spare and beautiful are adjectives that come to mind: In a live environment, Ásgeir’s performance is intentionally restrained and stripped back with his falsetto voice serving as an extra layer and additional instruments that accentuates the show, framed by strategically placed lightbeams that subtly illuminate the ethereal repertoire, which does not fail to enthrall the sold out crowd.
Ásgeir’s soaring, inimitable vocal deliveries were backed by delicate rhythmic backing and electronic waves and folk piano that rounded out his chord progressions.
Given the immense commercial successes Ásgeir has celebrated throughout recent years, the sincere humbleness with which he holds the audience in the palm of his shy hand is both surprising and appealing. Somehow he manages to get large-scale exposure without sacrificing his individuality or diluting the whimsical DNA of his intriguing oeuvre.
The best moments of the show come when Ásgeir spaces out and builds his elaborate musical sceneries that revel in artificiality with either electronica, samples or beats rubbing themselves against the sweetness and innocence of his earnest persona.
Photos by KAVV