Halloween Comes Early on Agnes Obel’s “Aventine”

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Agnes Obel
Aventine
Play It Again Sam

Aventine

To get those spooky vibes going in advance of Halloween, check out Aventine, the sophomore effort from melancholy Dane Agnes Obel. Restrained yet melodically lush, her elegant chamber pop intertwines haunted vocals, sometimes overdubbed to heavenly choir dimensions, and moonlit, introspective piano, with spare, brooding strings underscoring the sense of downcast beauty.

Such dreamy understatement might verge on New Age blandness in lesser hands, but Obel maintains an arresting undercurrent of dread in deceptively forceful tunes like “Fuel to Fire” and “Words Are Dead.” While Aventine is the perfect 2 a.m. record, its atmospheric haze will bring a little late-night mystery to any time of day.

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