Agnes Obel opens up on what it means to be a ‘Citizen of Glass’


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“I think it’s very important that you remember that your point of view and your inner world is unique. So you should not be afraid of using it, even if it doesn’t fit in into some sort of genre or category or whatever is cool and popular at the moment. It’s always more interesting to get a bit of the person through the lyrics of the sound, and don’t be afraid of using yourself and opening up in what you’re doing.” –Agnes Obel

With her innovative sound, Agnes Obel has made quite a name for herself across Europe and is looking to expand her reach. Starting on February 28th, Agnes will begin her own headlining 19-date North American tour.

With a little over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, the Danish singer/songwriter – who has produced and recorded all her music on her albums herself – brings a new sound to the music industry.

When asked about what genre she thinks she fits into, she said, “I don’t really think of myself as a genre musician. I know like somebody is doing folk, country, rhythm and blues, or something. I don’t have sort of a genre like that.”

Honestly, I can agree with her. With her first two albums, Philharmonics and Aventine, Agnes focused a lot on the music she had written over the years on the piano while also leaving out the mainstream drums and base. Instead, she creates her own unique rhythms herself, whether she’s using the side of the piano, tapping a pen on a table, or even breathing into a microphone to create rhythms that sound like cymbals.

“And then on this last album, I’ve used more instruments. It’s very new to me.”

As you listen to her new album, Citizen of Glass, the well-thought-out rhythms and intricate sounds are apparent in every song. While using more instruments may be new for Agnes, it’s not stopping her from adding more to her unique sound.

“There’s an increasing sense in this world that you have to make yourself into a citizen of glass. To be willing to open up, to let everybody see you, to use yourself as material – and not just if you’re an artist or a musician. Everything about our lives these days seems to be about revealing the private self, the self in every little detail. It’s the new way we’re meant to embrace.”

Citizen of Glass centers around the concept of how we see ourselves, how we see other people, and how love and emotions work in this day-and-age where private life and secrets are nonexistent. From social media outlooks to magazines, people have now become so open and transparent about their lives on the internet that Agnes decided to focus on her own “little secrets” for her album.

“I’d really like to play Mary, because it is actually a song about how good it is to let go of a bad secret. At the end of the song there is a big reverb, and we try to do that live too. The person who had the secret that was really destructive – she is letting go of it. And it also ends the album when the secret is gone and released from her.”

Although this is not the first tour to North America she has had, this tour is a full of new cities and places she has never been before. With shows selling out, Agnes is also just as excited and ready to return to those cities she has been performed in before

“Doesn’t really feel like work, it feels like, something really, really nice. But it’s also really exciting for me because I am really use to touring in Europe and so much more excited when I’m touring the United States.”

As she should be! Not many people get the chance to travel all over the world and explore the United States while showcasing her music. Don’t forget to buy your tickets to go see the amazing Agnes Obel on her North America Tour before they all sell out! You can find her tickets for a city near you by clicking here.

Listen to Agnes Obel on Spotify:

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<p>Michael Rabina is a Reno, Nevada native who spends most of his time teaching people how to correctly say Nevada. Don’t ask him why he came all this way to Hattiesburg to pursue a journalism degree at the University of Southern Mississippi because he doesn’t actually know himself. Most of his photography work you can find on instagram (@m_rabina) or directly on his new website (www.michaelrabina.com). Michael is mainly interested in the visual aspects of journalism through photography and video, and when he’s not out shooting, you can find him at the closest McDonalds eating chicken nuggets.</p>

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