Catch Agnes Obel

at the Independent

(Alex Brüel Flagstad)

It’s almost unfair to have to listen to Agnes Obel in a modern-day setting. The 36-year-old Danish composer creates music so ethereal you can practically see the mist seeping out of the speakers as she sings. Her melodies are made for lying in a bed of moss, or walking through a dark, heavily wooded forest. Obel’s icy, cooing vocals are often accompanied by haunting string arrangements or austere, plaintive guitar and piano chords. Even though the songs give off an otherworldly vibe, they feel deeply personal, due in part to Obel’s clear vocals and introspective, biting lyrics. Her last album, Citizen of Glass, is filled with contemplative tracks that combine her penchant for minimalist, sonic textures with evocative, scene-setting narratives. With so much mystical atmosphere injected into each song, it’s a little sad that we’ll probably never get to see Obel perform in a crumbling, ancient amphitheater. But hey, a cozy little nightclub is a nice consolation prize.

Agnes Obel
At 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, at the Independent. $25; theindependentsf.com

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