News, Reviews

Ásgeir Announces New Album “Time On My Hands” Via One Little Independent Records & Shares New Single “Snowblind”

July 20, 2022
Photo credit: Anna Maggý


Ásgeir
Announces New Album

‘Time On My Hands’ out October 28th via One Little Independent Records

As one of Iceland’s most successful exports, singer-songwriter Ásgeir has spent the time between his record-breaking debut (now celebrating its 10th anniversary) and today pushing the boundaries of his textured, thoughtful brand of folk-pop. On October 28th he’ll release his long anticipated fourth album ‘Time On My Hands’ via One Little Independent Records.

Alongside announcement Ásgeir has shared the glistening new single ‘Snowblind’, an icy electronic ballad that fuses crisp beats with elated, expressive intensity. Driving synths rise dramatically while drums crack through the layered production beneath them – and amidst it all, Ásgeir’s singular, pure voice weaves a narrative that recalls the sparse and dark roads of his Icelandic hometown.

Of the cinematic, sci-fi inspired new video, director Erlendur Sveinsson says “The music video for Snowblind is the fruit of a collaboration between myself and DOP, Anna Smoronova. Originally introduced by a mutual friend in 2019, I quickly became a big fan of her work. Through conversation we discovered a mutual interest in the incredible music of Àsgeir and soon after joined forces with him and his team. When I first heard the song, I realized that we had a chance to make something epic. The lyrics and the synths provoked some strong imagery and I was immediately drawn to the science fiction genre. Shooting it in and around the búrfell hydropower plant was my first instinct. There, we were able to create a unique world and I’d been eager to work with the “plant” aesthetic for a while. There is something so fascinating about these massive concrete structures in the vast landscape.

It’s a dystopian tale about a family journeying through the mystical landscape of the Icelandic highland, escaping their past and in search of a higher power.Our target was to create visual context for the incredible track and build powerful sequences that would build on the imagination of the audience. We assembled an incredible team of creative professionals on this project and each of them contributed their talents. I’m over the moon with the result and thankful for the opportunity to make this with such a talented group of people”.

Ásgeir embraces this futuristic theme whilst still crushing the ensemble with lashes of affection, personality, and meaning. The choice of synth tones and the consuming sound waves allow this new, refreshing sound to soar whilst still retaining the heart of this artist. It’s a dazzling creation that builds, intensifies, and explodes, capturing such immense energy throughout and this insatiable, addictive rhythm and forceful melody.

‘Time On My Hands’ sees Ásgeir in a state of self-reflection and experimentation, having spent much of the last few years in his home and in the studio deeply engrossed in writing, recording, translating and producing. On this album he’s entered new realms of composition, sensitively layering acoustics with electronics and brass. As with some of his previous work, most notably 2017’s ‘Afterglow’ and 2020’s ‘Bury The Moon’, Ásgeir plays with euphoric and choral elements of electronic pop music while keeping a tight grasp on the introspective, vocal-lead style of the acoustica that made him famous.

It’s clear from the beginning that the collection is built around visuals of glacial scenery as Ásgeir soars above a frosty terrain of enchanting melodic soundscapes with cinematic lucidity. The rolling landscapes aesthetic of the record was inspired by Ásgeirs own relationship with music over the last two years, consuming mostly while he was running outdoors, or while on long drives. He says that “some of the albums or music that stand out from that time were Caribou’s album Suddenly, Caroline Polichek-Pang, Dijon, Altopalo, Big Thief, Michael Kiwanuka, Sault, Ethan Gruska, Blake Mills and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. This music probably has something to do with how the record came out, combined with earlier influences.”

The extended time that Ásgeir had to work on the material gave him space to venture into different synth sounds, he tells us; “There’s a synth repair guy that works at the studio and there’s a lot of vintage synthesizers that come through there. We bought an old Memorymoog off him while recording the album and I used it on many of the songs. I wrote Vibrating Walls on a Korg PS-3100. Korg Delta has always been one of my favourite synths and it was used on a few tracks. I use my voice as the bass sound in Golden Hour, I got the idea after listening to Rank and File by Moses Sumney”.

‘Time On My Hands’ was recorded in Studio Hljóðrit where Ásgeir has always recorded, working closely with producer Guðmundur Kristinn Jónsson, he also recorded some of it at home. Ásgeir plays the bulk of the instruments himself but also invited the likes of drummers Nils Törnqvist and Kristinn Snær Agnarson, and the brass trio Samúel Jón Samúelsson, Kjartan Hákonarson and Óskar Guðjónsson as well as Pétur Ben to add the occasional percussion or guitar.

The whole album asks us to allow ourselves to glide over borders, both the physical, the ones we put up ourselves, and those between reality and imagination. It’s about freedom, the desire for adventure, and taking flight to escape isolation, as well as appreciating the natural wonders that surround us every day.

Tracklist

  1. Time On My Hands
  2. Borderland
  3. Snowblind
  4. Vibrating Walls
  5. Blue
  6. Giantess
  7. Like I Am
  8. Waiting Room
  9. Golden Hour
  10. Limitless

Tour dates

31/07 – WOMAD Festival, Wiltshire, UK     

27/08 – Eldborg, Reykjvík, Iceland            

28/09 – Bürgerhaus Stollwerck, Koln, Germany                    

29/09 – Freiheitshalle, Munich, Germany                             

01/10 – Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany                  

02/10 – Botanique, Brussels, Belgium                  

03/10 – Paterskerk, Eindhoven, Netherlands                                                 

05/10 – La Cigale, Paris, France                

06/10 – Central Station, Darmstadt, Germany                       

07/10 – Taubchenthal, Leipzig, Germany                                         

09/10 – X-Tra, Zurich, Switzerland              

10/10 – Les Docks, Lausanne, Switzerland                                                  

12/10 – A38 Ship, Budapest, Hungary                     

13/10 – Arena Club, Vienna, Austria           

14/10 – Locomotive Club, Bologna, Italia                                          

16/10 – La Grand Mix, Tourcoing, France                 

17/10 – Tivoli Vrendenburg – Grote Zaal, Utrecht, Netherlands

https://www.asgeirmusic.com/

https://www.olirecords.com/

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