Agnes Obel’s Haunting Chamber Pop

Her beautiful new album is likely to soothe the dark night of the soul.

Alex Bruel Flagstad

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


 Agnes Obel
Citizen of Glass
Play it Again Sam

Agnes Obel’s music would be the perfect soundtrack for a scary movie, but not a brutish modern one—her haunting chamber pop belongs in the world of old-fashioned spooky films like the 1940s classics “Cat People” and “The Uninvited.” (David Lynch is reportedly a fan, which makes sense.) Citizen of Glass, the Danish singer’s wonderfully transfixing third outing, weaves old and new instruments, including strings, piano, mellotron and the Trautonium, an early 20th-century ancestor of the synthesizer, into a luminous backdrop for her eerily composed vocals. Poised and uneasy at once, Obel seems to be revisiting episodes of extreme distress from a distance, as if seeking to dull the trauma through calm reflection. As she declares in “It’s Happening Again,” “The past isn’t dead/It’s alive, it’s happening/In the back of my head.” The result is a beautiful album likely to soothe the dark night of the soul, or induce an anxiety attack.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate