10 FEBRUARY 2011
You can only detect a whiff of an accent shimmering through when you listen to Obél singing her heart melting new song “Just So”. Anyone aware of Emiliana Torrini or Stina Nordenstam will be familiar with this particular sound of this accent. The voice that you can hear gracing Telekom’s new TV campaign strikes you gentle and brooding, yet at the same time it sounds so powerful and enthralling.
The 28-year-old singer, songwriter and musician Agnes Obel, who goes by her last name when it comes to music, once left her Danish home town of Copenhagen to put down roots in the creative German capital of Berlin. She wanted to get inspired by Berlin’s exciting hustle and bustle since she felt she needed more than Copenhagen could offer.
The opportunity to musically color the Telekom commercials was initiated by a Dutch agency, who discovered Obel’s music on Myspace. It isn’t surprising that the agency felt enthusiastic about Obel’s songwriting and autonomy. By her own hands she writes and, composes, sings and produces – but not in one of the many reputable recording studios colonising Berlin. Her single “Just So” sounds just as endearing and intimate as its point of origin – namely Obél’s bedroom. ” It was an attempt to describe the situation of not wanting to face the day outside, something very simple and common, something we all know and yet something so very difficult to describe and share with other people”.
It was in her childhood years that Obel discovered the piano and also made her first steps as a composer. “I started learning how to play classical piano when i was a little kid. Back then, my parents were listening to very different kinds of music, my father mostly jazz while my mother heard stoff like Lauri Anderson and Talking Heads. An artist that made quite an impact on me at that time was the Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson, who played traditional European folk tunes via jazz. I guess this is how I discovered folk music.” Artists such as Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and Tori Amos also left their musical marks on Obel.
Still being a teenager, she got together with Danish musician and producer Elton Theander and started the band, Sohio. Together they wrote songs and produced for other acts.”It was at a time where i was singing a lot of choir for very different acts and i remember people kept on telling me that i sounded like Kate Bush. Since that time, I mostly stick to the lower tones. I love Kate Bush but I felt like my project was of a very different character”.
Agnes will release a first EP in May 2010.
Her debut album will be released in GAS in September 2010 through PIAS and worldwide in October 2010.
It will include the song „Just So“, which was already released as a single in February 2009 and stayed in the German charts (#44 – #85) for 9 weeks.