Agnes Obel's Haunting Melodies Wow The Sinclair

Aiden Teplitzky Dobens ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

David Weiner / Emertainment Monthly
David Weiner / Emertainment Monthly
Agnes Obel, a Danish singer/songwriter and skilled pianist, visited the Sinclair in Boston on Monday night.
The crowd was on the older side, as one elderly couple managed to bring stools into the venue so they wouldn’t have to stand for the hour and a half performance that awaited them.
Obel is highly rated in much of Europe, especially her homeland, as she won a handful of awards at the 2011 Danish Music Awards, including best album and best songwriter. She recently released her second studio album, entitled Aventine.
Her sound is simple, yet very effective. In an interview with French magazine Telerama she says: “I was always attracted to the simple melodies, almost childish.” While her simplicity is evident, her music is far from childish. Her haunting voice accompanied by melancholy lyrics and melodies combine for deeply emotional listening.
She came out on stage in all black, her blond hair lackadaisically hanging by her side, Accompanying her on stage were a German cellist and a Canadian violinist, who were both essential to her live performance. She sat down at a large black piano, and got into the music.
Her live sound is quite impressive. In sync with her two band members, they played most songs just as they sounded on the albums with Obel’s voice reverberating to every corner of the fairly crowded Sinclair.
Her first notable track “Aventine” was the audience’s first peek into Obel’s brilliant combinations of piano, vocals, violin, and cello.

Throughout the show, the lighting fluctuated between ominous hues of red, purple, and blue, giving the show a very solemn and almost mysterious ambiance.
Obel has a very humble stage presence. She would periodically pause between songs, perhaps thinking she should probably say something. Before playing “Fuel To Fire” Obel explained, “Hello. This song is about living in another country that was different from my homeland. The things I liked, the things I didn’t. Thank you.”

One of her finals tracks was “The Curse,” a single from Aventine, which features a tremendous emotional build. Members in the audience were stupefied as the end of the song coincided with an abrupt shutting of the lights for dramatic effect.

Obel is a sincere, talented vocalist/pianist/songwriter, who gave the audience of the Sinclair a night to remember. While her intimate and pensive style might not be for everyone, she certainly has a bright future here in the United States.
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