Ásgeir - Time On My Hands

Ásgeir – Time On My Hands

You’ll read the word ‘ethereal’ scattered all over countless reviews about various different artists. Sometimes it’s accurate, often it’s questionable. With Icelandic artist Ásgeir, however, it’s never in any doubt. It might be partly because of his arresting falsetto vocal, or it could be because of the slightly off kilter sound textures that permeate his records. Whatever the reason, there are few other musicians around right now who embody the terms “ethereal” and “otherworldly” so well.

Having said all that, I don’t want to lead anyone to believe that Time On My Hands is all weird bleeps or field recordings like Stereolab or The Future Sound Of London respectively. Indeed, tracks like ‘Snowblind‘ have far more in common with disco or the electropop of the 1980s. But most of this impressive set is made up of songs that are very rustic sounding in essence. Images of glistening lakes, glacial mountains and the freshness of being amongst nature are constantly conjured up throughout this, Ásgeir’s fourth full length.

Some of the lyrics here are quite fascinating. The opener, which is the title track, has a verse that runs “They informed me that my lifeline was short, and for sure I’d be going soon / Didn’t want to die before I’d reached my teens, so I cried all afternoon.” Then later on, ‘Waiting Room‘ begins “I was away when I heard the news / My brother called me up from the damned waiting room” and ends with the thoughts from the ensuing journey to join him: “I saw a dry, barren land / all looked so lifeless and bland / The road into town seemed so long / the birds sang a sad, song.”

Whilst the prose I have lifted from those two numbers may imply a dark heart, the record is conversely nothing if not uplifting. The intricate melodies are hypnotic despite rarely having anything you could reasonably define as a ‘chorus’ and as a result Time On My Hands is one of the most devastatingly beautiful albums you’ll hear this year.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.