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by Nilabjo Banerjee

Last night, Lee’s Palace was infused with Icelandic musical flavours courtesy of Asgeir. Seemed like an ideal companion for many on a chilly night in early October.

Low Roar captivated the usually restless crowd during openers. There was absolute silence for the entire set, with no banter until the last song. Project of singer-songwriter Ryan Karazija (ex- Audrey Sessions), there was a certain cinematic and grandiose element to the songs ideal for listens during dark foggy nights. Karazija’s wailing falsettos never hit a false note, as the haunting melodies helped by eccentric synth patterns and electronic percussion all pieced together to establish a serene ambience. The set didn’t have the expected pauses. This was a bit puzzling for the crowd, unaware when to howl in appreciation. But, with such enthralling music, pausing for talk is more of an unnecessary interruption. Karazija and crew exited to encore chants. Not too shabby for a Toronto debut.

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The evening of subdued melodies continued as Asgeir cozied the nippy venue with lush falsettos supported by a stellar crew of musicians collectively part of Asgeir Trausti band. Gaining initial fame for his Icelandic debut, the 22-year-old bearded songster announced his bilingual intentions at the start, much to the roaring delight of those wanting to hear from both Dýrð í dauðaþögn and the English translated In The Silence. After all, Asgeir’s gentle serenade is the real star. Voice that has the maturity of Justin Vernon or JVM, the fairly reserved Nordic star excelled both during acoustic gems ‘Summer Guest’ and the viral cover of Nirvana’s ‘Heart Shaped Box’ or louder jams ‘Torrent’ and the hit single ‘King and Cross’.

Impressive live performances can only further Asgeir’s widespread acclaim. If last night’s rowdy reception is any indication, the Icelandic star is all set to be the next successful musical export