Agnes Obel At (le) Poisson Rouge In New York City


Review by Rachel Margaritis + Photos by Emily Korn

November 9, 2014 | Le Poisson Rouge – New York, NY

Indie classicism blooms in the dark for singer/songwriter Agnes Obel. Soothing, beautiful, and full of a gothic romanticism, Obel’s award-winning catalogue has charted both gold and platinum in several nations. Piano grounded and laced with strings, Agnes Obel’s compositions match her lyricism with an aesthetic the Brothers Grimm would have coveted had their tales needed musical accompaniment.

On Monday evening, Agnes Obel performed at (le) Poisson Rouge, NYC’s most popular venue for indie classical performance mashups. Joined by cellist, Anne Muller, of Germany and Mika Posen of Canada on violin/viola, the three put on a positively flawless performance marked by effortless synchronicity. Obel could not have wished for a more impeccable duo to compliment her music. The trio performed new, old, and old “new songs” for a full room of devoted fans who held back none of their praise and encouragement throughout the evening. Muller and Posen lent their hushed vocals, flowing in and around Obel’s vocal dynamics that brew a concoction nouveau of Jeff Buckley’s wild softness, Nina Simone’s grounded croon, and Sibylle Baier’s simplicity.

Agnes Obel’s craft was first fostered in childhood: with musicians for parents, her musical education was guided by a piano teacher who insisted she only play what she liked. Out of several personal evolutions through classical and rock music came a mature melodic sound, ringing somewhere between the mystery of the world felt in adolescence and what remains inexplicably out of reach in adulthood.

As though she flew in on the colder breeze of the season’s change, Obels’ performance rocked a diverse crowd into reverie through tales like “Aventine,” “Fuel to Fire,” “The Curse,” and her signature cover of Elliott Smith’s “Between the Bars.” The singer insisted fans keep an open mind upon her performance of the cult songwriter’s classic, though a glance around the room afforded no visible distress at her rendition.
The only thing better than hearing Agnes Obel songs is hearing them in their natural environment, live- somewhere between the piano keys and your eardrums.

Experience her live in concert:
11/13/14 Palais Montcalm – Quebec, QC
11/25/14 Old Museum – Brisbane
11/27/14 City Recital Hall Angel Place – Sydney
11/28/14 Elisabeth Murdoch Hall – Melbourne






Pass Them By
Fuel to Fire
On Powdered Ground
Between the Bars (Elliott Smith cover)
Run Cried the Crawling
Spinet Song
Words Are Dead
The Curse

Close Watch
(John Cale cover)
Smoke & Mirrors

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For more information on Agnes Obel, please visit:

Official website:

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