Finding a Balance Between Progressive and Traditional: Ásgeir’s “Bury the Moon”

Iceland’s place in the global music scene has always been underrepresented, although there have been a number of tracks that captivate the public ear over the last few years. From Of Monsters to Men’s “Little Talks” to Björk’s extensive 15-time nominated Grammy discography, the presence of Icelandic music is no stranger to the charts. Of all the elite Icelandic talents of the world, one of the most impressive is Ásgeir Trausti, who’s electronically infused folk has gained traction across the world. 

Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson, who performs under the mononym Ásgeir, is a 27-year old progressive folk artist hailing from the North-West region of the nation. Since his debut in 2012, Ásgeir has produced three studio albums. At just 20 years old, “Dýrð í dauðaþögn” was released, where it swept the Icelandic Music Awards and performed superbly well internationally. In 2014, the album was reissued in English as “In the Silence,” and three years later, Ásgeir released “Afterglow,” his first English album. Throughout his young eight-year career, his discography has developed extensively, and his latest project, “Bury the Moon,” is Ásgeir’s most solidified release to date.

Over the years, Ásgeir has excelled at balancing his taste for traditional Icelandic folk music with his desire to make progressive and electronically influenced tracks. While “Bury the Moon” displays Ásgeir’s ability to blend the two sounds into one project, his previous albums have tended to stick to either the conventional folk sound or the modern alternative style. On “Bury the Moon,” the listener is given the folk vibe that was heavily shown on “Dýrð í dauðaþögn,” complemented with the progressive electronica that was tested on “Afterglow.”

As a complete project, this album is incredibly strong. The flow of styles, production quality, and experimentation of sound helps us understand Ásgeir at the peak of his career thus far. Not only does “Bury the Moon” capture the balance of traditional and cutting-edge, as perfectly shown on back-to-back tracks “Eventide” and “Lazy Giants,” the listener is provided a look into Ásgeir’s interest in testing the lines between even more genres. From the R&B influenced “Turn Gold to Sand” to the instrumental jazz on “Bury the Moon,” this album explicitly exhibits Ásgeir’s interests and intentions. 

It’s easy for artists to make bold musical leaps and lose their original sound, but Ásgeir ensures that his early fans are also satisfied with “Bury the Moon.” While it was exciting for Ásgeir to experiment heavily on this project, the easily consumable “Youth,” “Lazy Giants,” and “Until Daybreak” remain as the anchor tracks of the album. 

Ásgeir is an unbelievably talented artist who will continue to make his impact on the music industry. At just 27 years old with three incredible projects in his history, Ásgeir will resume experimenting with his sound while making appetizing music for listeners of all genres. With the release of “Bury the Moon,” Ásgeir displayed the pinnacle of his music, and in turn, cemented his place as a future great.

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