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Swallowed a Star

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Album Review

Daníel Ágúst first made his name as a singer/songwriter in the electronica/trip-hop-oriented group Gus Gus, who had quite a bit of success in their native Iceland, Ágúst writing or co-writing all of the singles that became hits in that country. It might come as somewhat of a surprise, then, that his debut album is not especially electronica-oriented, though it's conscientiously textured and layered. Instead, it leans toward chamber pop, with violin and cello often complementing Ágúst's breathily sung, wispy singer/songwriter-like material. As a very rough approximation, at times it sounds like a singer/songwriter such as Nick Drake might have, had he been mated with early 21st century technology and trends. Ágúst isn't the songwriter (or singer) Drake was, but these are still affectingly vulnerable ruminations with a sensitive wind-blown romanticism that avoid being overly pretentious or sentimental. The production weaves imaginative, if occasionally gratuitously busy, embellishments of bells and electronic washes/effects around the song-oriented cores, with input from Bix (noted for remixing some of Madonna and Beck's work).

Biography

Born: Iceland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Daníel Ágúst first came to recognition as the principal singer/songwriter of the Icelandic electronica collective Gus Gus, who had several hit singles in their native country and attained some international recognition with two albums in the late '90s. After leaving Gus Gus, Ágúst worked on film and documentary soundtracks, as well as music for dance companies. He re-entered the pop music arena in 2006 with his solo debut, Swallowed a Star. While not bereft of electronic touches in its production,...
Full Bio
Swallowed a Star, Daníel Ágúst
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