Music for studying: Agnes Obel’s ‘Aventine’

Danish-born singer/songwriter Agnes Obel released her debut album Philharmonics in September 2010. While her most popular singles from the album are “Riverside“, “Just So“, and “Brother Sparrow” (this writer’s personal favorite tracks are “Avenue“, “Over the Hill“, and “Katie Cruel“), the entire album is overwhelmingly pure and sedative. Philharmonics features several piano solos, heavy use of strings, and Obel’s signature humming and gentle, whisper-y vocals. With such a unique sound, it’s no wonder that the album went platinum in Belgium, France, and Denmark.

Philharmonics sure would seem hard to beat, and expectations were high for Obel’s sophomore album Aventinedue to be released in the U.S. on October 1. Nevertheless, Obel announced yesterday that the album was “available to stream in full,” and the verdict is in: Obel absolutely impresses. Aventine‘s overall sound and mood are a little more dynamic and complex than those of Philharmonics, but they still incorporate the elements characteristic of the singer/songwriter.

Give Aventine a listen above (or click here). You can move from track to track by clicking on the right and left arrows. The album is a great soundtrack for your studying, especially as you gear up for your first midterms and papers of the semester. While I’m an avid listener of Philharmonics (full disclosure: it’s the only studying/paper-writing music I’ve listened to during my entire time at Brown… and I’m a senior), I can confidently say that Aventine is my new number-one (favorite tracks thus far include “Aventine”, “Fuel to Fire”, “Dorian”, and “Smoke & Mirrors”). It’s so good that it actually makes me want to do my homework.

Check out two of the singles off the album, “The Curse” and “Fuel to Fire”, below.

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