Icelandic artist Ásgeir returns with ‘The Sky Is Painted Gray Today’ EP

Following the release of last year’s lauded Bury The Moon album and successful world tour, Ásgeir is returning with his remarkable new EP, The Sky Is Painted Gray Today.

His latest single On The Edge is about a man who’s away from his lover and looking for a gift to bring home with him. Ásgeir paints an affectionate and romantic picture of the landscapes and the space between his two leads, one that pulls at heartstrings as the track builds gracefully.

The Sky Is Painted Gray Today’s four textured original tracks, which have been long gestating, were recorded for the most part in 2019 in Hljodriti and have been tweaked over the last few months.

They mark something of a return to the artist’s deep roots, working once again with his father on their poetic Icelandic lyrics, as well as enlisting the likes of John Grant and Pétur Ben for the translations — a writing relationship that worked to great effect on his debut.

The collection encompasses his signature emotive delivery, delicate yet expansive folk, and intricate guitars. A more stripped back approach was taken when putting these together, with a focus put on his singular vocal and the dexterous strumming of layered, warm acoustics.

There’s an understated potency to tracks like Sister and On The Edge, a sense that even in their simplicity, we are in the presence of a master craftsman, humbly, at his best.

The EP also includes the miraculous story Sunday Drive, a lyrical retelling of a car accident Ásgeir experienced in his youth.

Sunday Drive was written about a car accident I had when I was 7 years old. Every Sunday me and my family used to drive on top of a mountain close to the town where we lived and then get out of the car, walk around and enjoy the view,” Ásgeir said of the track.

“On the day of the accident my older sister was allowed to take pictures on a new camera that my mom and dad had recently bought but they didn’t trust me with it so I got upset and stayed in the car while they went out to take pictures. While I was upset waiting in the car I started playing with the gear shift and handbrake and suddenly the car started moving.”

“It flew down the hill and flipped around a few times and was completely destroyed when it stopped. I crawled out pretty much uninjured, only needing four stitches on my head.”

Ásgeir’s debut album Dýrð í dauðaþögn was released in 2012 and was the best-selling debut record ever in Iceland — in 2014 he released In The Silence, the English language version.

He followed this with the introspective, emotive folktronica of Afterglow in 2017 and last year’s exceptional Bury The Moon.

Source: Media release, image credit: Jonatan Gretarsson

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