First Watch: Agnes Obel, 'It's Happening Again'
If you've not yet fallen in love with the music of Agnes Obel, here's your chance. "It's Happening Again" is a stirring piece of music that conjures an emotion one might feel when waking from a dream or reliving a past experience. The Danish singer told us in an email that "the song was inspired by the concept of eternal return and the impression that things happen in a loop. I often feel like the past is speaking through us, that we are these glass prisms reflecting our collective and individual pasts out to the world."
That's Agnes Obel herself playing that circular melody on piano. The song is from her just-released third record, Citizen Of Glass.That album was recorded over the past two years and features cello, violin and a wild assortment of keyboards — including a Trautonium, an early electronic keyboard from the late 1920s. Like so much of this album, there's a eerie and yet comforting sense to this song.
Alex Brüel Flagstad, who directed the pixelated video for "It's Happening Again," told us that he "wanted a video that didn't steal the tension from the song, where there is room to make your own pictures from the music." There is so much imagery that I've found unsettling in these songs and these lines. So I was happy about the video's lack of literality and narrative, which maintains the mystery within the song.
I took a day or two
To exile from the light
To unfold that prisoner
They call a mind
And for a brief moment
We could stop the time
But with the stars and the moon
I woke up in the night
In the same place, it was sailing before my eyes
It's happening, it's happening, it's happening again
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