Agnes Obel / Photo: Alex Bruel Flagstad
Agnes Obel / Photo: Alex Bruel Flagstad

A five-time winner at the Danish Music Awards — including Best Album, Best Songwriter and Best Female Artist — Agnes Obel’s first two albums went platinum in several European countries. Her latest release, 2016’s Citizen Of Glass, continues that streak of success, going on to become Agnes’ first top 40 album in the U.K. territory. The United States also has its fair share of Agnes Obel fans, as Pretty Little Liars and The Leftovers have both used her music in episodes and director David Lynch opted to remix a song from 2014’s Aventine.

In support of Citizen Of Glass, Agnes began a North American tour on Feb. 28 in Montreal. Before reaching SXSW for three days of performances, Agnes will be performing at Le Poisson Rouge on Mar. 11. Onstage, she will be joined by Charlotte Danhier (cello, loops, vocals, mellotron, drums, uke), Catherine de Blasio (drums, vocals, bass clarinet, percussion), and Kristina Koropecki (cello, loops, vocals, percussion). In turn, concert-goers will be able to hear the music of Agnes Obel just like it is known to sound on record.

Downtown conducted Q&A with Agnes in advance of her tour’s launch. More on Agnes and her music can be found at www.agnesobel.com. The acclaimed singer/songwriter and producer can also be followed via Twitter and Facebook.

What do you remember about the first time you ever played in New York? Where was it?

Agnes Obel: I think it was at Joe’s Pub. In the winter 2010/2011. A tiny stage with a grand piano.

Have you ever traveled to New York besides touring?

Agnes Obel: I’ve been to New York to shoot a video once and to visit friends.

A lot of people think of you as a classical artist due to your training and the production of your recorded music. Were you ever in a rock band? Did you ever jam with other musicians while a student?

Agnes Obel: I have been in different bands before I began recording and releasing my own music. I really enjoyed the feeling of being in a band and, yes, we jammed sometimes. I still try to keep this vibe of being a group with the band I play with now.

What was the first album you purchased with your own money?

Agnes Obel: It was a record by Sade. I bought at a fleemarjet in Copenhagen.

And what was the first pop or rock concert you ever attended?

Agnes Obel: It was a concert with the Danish all-female band called Miss B. Haven at a small venue called Huset. I was 11, I think, and was there with my mom and her friend.

Did you always sing in English?

Agnes Obel: Yes

Do you have a favorite song on Citizen Of Glass, your latest album?

Agnes Obel: I’m really happy with the track “Red Virgin Soil.”

Citizen Of Glass was your first album to chart in the UK Top 40, which must have been a thrill. Is there a career accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Agnes Obel: I’m really happy with having the song “Fuel To Fire” remixed by David Lynch.

When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?

Agnes Obel: I like hanging out with friends and my dog, Woody. Also, love going to the cinema.

Is there something you wish more people knew about Agnes Obel?

Agnes Obel: Can’t really think of what that should be. It’s good to keep some things for yourself.

Finally, who’s the best Danish artist our readers may not know?

Agnes Obel: I really love the Danish poet Inger Christensen.