MUSIC | When by the water we drink to the dregs

Thursday 21 April 2011

I was planning a post on another artist tonight, but then I heard this girl on Grey's Anatomy, of all places. Now, television often has its share of rubbishy music, but recently I've been noticing a lot of great music around: it all started with hearing Explosions In The Sky on ITV (one of the best 'wait a second... I know this song' moments I've had) and an insane amount of Sigur Ros on Planet Earth ads and remixed David Bowie on the latest Renault advert (which I actually really like).

Grey's actually tends to have a lot of good music but it gets lost in all the insane drama, what with people dying and getting pregnant and breaking up with their girlfriends because they want a lung transplant and they both have cystic fibrosis... you get the point. So when I actually noticed this song (amidst the Chief considering that his wife has dementia) I immediately went and looked it up.

29-year old Agnes Obel is originally from Denmark, but her debut solo album was recorded in her bedroom in Berlin. She writes, sings, plays, records, and produces all of the music herself - she's a talented classical pianist, and has acted in Thomas Vinterberg's 1994 short 'The Boy Who Walked Backwards' - something I'd definitely like to watch at some point - as well as being stunningly beautiful! She formed her first band at the age of seven, and played bass guitar and sang with them at a festival and in some recordings. Having played in the Danish band Sohio, she went solo in 2010 with her first album Philarmonics, that is now certified double platinum. The song that I heard was 'Riverside' - probably one of the most beautiful I've heard in a while. The lyrics are great too. The black and white super-8 video, directed and filmed by Alex Bruel Flagstad of Porkfish, is one of the lovliest I've seen, and fits perfectly with the mood of the song, encapsulating its dreamy but slightly melancholy and sinister undertones.

It's quite different from the rest of Flagstad's work, seeing as Porkfish works in clay animation (think Wallace and Gromit, but with a more grown-up subject matter). Their showreel animation gives a good idea of their  line of work. The amount of time and effort that goes into the animations is amazing (thanks to my animation attempts I know this!) as they work at 25 images per second, but as they say on their website, 'the look speaks for itself'. It's definitely a little more edgy than old Wallace (but I still love him anyway.)

"Porkfish has experience with creating environments, types and characters, which you don't normally connect with clay animation. Distinctive for a Porkfish production is nerdy details, evocative/atmospheric lighting, and filmic camera aesthetics."

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