Agnes Obel’s Haunting Chamber Pop

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

Alex Bruel Flagstad

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


 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.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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