'13 REDUX: Agnes Obel

Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel's second album Aventine is the follow up to her  2010 debut Philharmonics, an album that sold 450,000 copies in Europe and one we described as an "intriguing collection of somber, sparsely produced piano songs that reveal haunting minor-chord shadows not far below the delicate musicbox sheen." The new project was written, arranged and produced by Berlin-based, piano-playing performer and recorded at her own Chalk Wood Studios in Germany. "While touring Philharmonics I kept on getting all these ideas for recording, and I wanted to explore the cello and other string instruments" says Agnes of Aventine. "I recorded everything quite closely, miking everything closely in a small room, with voices here, the piano here - everything is close to you. So it's sparse, but by varying the dynamic range of the songs I could create almost soundscapes. I was able to make something feel big with just these few instruments." Our take? Easily one of the best and most essential listens of the year. Click through to stream and watch the music video for "The Curse."

Agnes Obel - "Fuel to Fire" (from Aventine)

Agnes Obel - "The Curse" (from Aventine)