Daníel Ágúst

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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).

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