With Ásgeir, javelin throwing’s loss is music’s gain
One Little Indian
Javelin throwing’s loss has turned out to be music’s gain in the case of the Icelandic singer Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson. The dude from Laugarbakki’s debut record, Dýrð í dauðaþögn (released in English as In the Silence), remains the country’s biggest-selling album and led to his international breakthrough. What’s immediately noticeable on his new album is Einarsson’s smooth transition from the guitar to the laptop as his source of musical embellishment. His rich, beautiful falsetto remains at the heart of the songs, but it’s now amplified by a layer of spooked, haunting and occasionally wonky electronic ciphers and effects. As with Bon Iver and James Blake, it’s a match that produces compelling songs, such as Here Comes the Wave In, I Know You Know and Unbound. Injury may have forced Ásgeir to give up his dreams of being a javelin champion, but few who’ll be drawn to this album will complain.