When he was 20, Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson released an album in Iceland, sung in Icelandic, with many of the words written by his father. Dýrð í dauðaþögn became the biggest-selling debut in Icelandic music history. A year or so later, he rerecorded that album in English under the name In The Silence, with translation help from John Grant — an American singer-songwriter (and Tiny Desk veteran) now living in Iceland.
Ásgeir's voice is angelic and yearning, his songs simple and universal. At the Tiny Desk, his raw, slowed-down arrangements bring a sense of grace to what were already elegant songs. On piano, with simple guitar accompaniment from his childhood friend Julius Róbertsson, Ásgeir strips these spare tunes down even further, locating their essence in the process. It's been a wonderful year for the singer: His U.S. tour is wrapping up on the West Coast, and many in the U.S. have discovered his music in 2014. If you haven't done so yet, here's your Ásgeir moment.
- "On That Day"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Susan Hale Thomas; photo by Susan Hale Thomas/NPR