Ásgeir leads a triumphant march from the knots of the past to the promise of a new day with the tried and true beauty, “In the Silence.”
Icelandic and folktronic singer/songwriter Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson (Ásgeir) leads a triumphant march from life’s knotted past towards the beautiful potential of a new day with “In the Silence” off his 2013 debut album of the same name.
Listen: “In the Silence” – Ásgeir
Released on One Little Indian Records (of Björk and Sigur Rós fame), In the Silence was originally introduced to the musiverse as its Icelandic alter ego, “Dýrð í dauðaþögn” (Sena, 2012). Trekking alongside Ásgeir is none other than his very own Faðir (Father), a poet in his own right, Einar Georg Einarsson. Mr. Einarsson originally penned the solacing lyrics of “In the Silence”’s aforementioned ancestor, “Dýrð í dauðaþögn.”
Indeed, while listening to “Dýrð í dauðaþögn” in its original patois is an interesting cultural and linguistic study, having a tender English translation to sigh to adds yet another layer to our (the non-Icelandic speaking population’s) connection with “In the Silence.” Championed by American born, former frontman of Colorado-based shoegazers The Czars and current Iceland-ophile John Grant, “In the Silence” grabs you in a long awaited embrace, and has the power and grace to soothe even the most worrisome heart.
While working with Ásgeir and bandmate/songwriter (and former bridge builder!) Julius Robertsson, Mr. Grant endeavored to “keep the Icelandic meanings in the song,” because he believed “that’s what is so special about them. It’s what the people of the world will really connect to… it was a collaborative effort.” (YouTube)
Grant’s intentions paid off, producing a graceful and intricately worded proem between the English speaking world and their new heart(song) throb, Ásgeir.
The musicality of “In the Silence” alone captures the heart, enlisting it in a marching journey towards balance. But before the drums kick in and get us moving, we are introduced to Grant’s thought provoking lyrics, supported by meditative cyclical, raga-esq, strumming.
With this soundscape in place, the words, inspired by Einarsson, calibrated by Grant and gently crooned by Ásgeir, have a chance to set our minds in the intended direction. Getting us ready to march towards a positive perspective of growth through the acceptance and love of life.
Come, take my hand
Let’s undo the knots of the past
From the night where phantoms toss and turn
Go further, deeper as the day is closing
Soft and fragile
There is grace in the dead of silence
As we dream gentle hands are shaping
Further, higher as the new day enters
“In the Silence” is a song about moving forward in life while releasing total control as there is “grace in the dead of silence.” Together we move, gently with confidence. Marching towards an abeyant future even if the past has been complicated and/or painful. He wants us to know that there is love even in silence as the universe sets the next chapter of our story in motion.
And then those drums start rolling and “In the Silence” sets off and takes us along.
We opened the door
Found a way we hadn’t seen before
Found a reality that
shields us and clothes us
Makes us hungry for
things the day can offer
That elusive “way we hadn’t seen before” is a powerful concept to remember and consider when we feel stuck in our current scene. Like a good friend, Ásgeir’s voice reminds us, that we will find this door and again feel “hungry for things the day can offer.”
Watch the mind run far away
Way ahead of us
And everything that will be and was
Here and now
We all like to be good girl-scouts, making plans and plotting routes throughout our adventures. However, this mindset allows “the mind to run far away.” Staying present and knowing the truth that having all the answers right away is not necessary or even possible, brings peace. As long as we accept the wandering pathways of life, happiness in the “here and now” is possible.
Though my soul may set in darkness
It will rise in light
As Ásgeir continues to grow and evolve musically, Afterglow is less “folk” and more “-tronic,” giving this album a cathedral, transcendent and sparkly sangfroid in the ear.
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photo © Ásgeir 2017