Magnus Eliassen is an independent acoustic-pop artist from Norway with soul to spare. Aside from being a model for DIY done right, his new album, Second Grace, is equal parts contemplative, charming, and sensuous. Considering just how good it sounds, it’s also quite surprising that he recorded the whole thing at his grandparents’ house. After performing around 100 shows around Europe, many of them sold out, and some press adding up, it seems that Magnus might be fast on his to way to becoming a force in indie music. That is, if he’s worried about that kind of thing.
One of Magnus’ strong suits is certainly the consistency in his music. Each song is an instantly enjoyable journey into earnest and soulful-coffee house territory with a irresistibly deep clap-along back-beat and lyrics that laud the joys of love. It should also be noted that all of the lyrics are sung in English, which is no small feat considering that Norwegian is the national language. There is also a subtle undercurrent of a Latin influence as well which is brought out by the use of castanets, staccato guitar, and the occasional odd time signature. Although currently promoting himself as a solo artist by name, he is also joined by three other musicians who masterfully help see his vision to fruition.
Where I normally would only consider it to have a slight effect on an artist’s work, Magnus’ personal beliefs should also be considered in conjunction with his music and overall aesthetic. Through his rationalization of the necessity of occasional music piracy, anti-materialism, and making many of his meals from scratch and for under $1, he manages to promote a positive message that compliments the music without being preachy. A quick look at his biography also reveals that the apparent impetus for this wave of positive energy was being involved in a rather bad car crash.
Because I consider Magnus to be a highly original artist from everything that I’ve heard thus far, I hate to compare him to any other artists. However, if I had to, I suppose it would be a blending of the vocal stylings of Jeff Buckley and Travis, the soul elements of Remy Shand, and the laid back acoustic vibe of a Jack Johnson.
Here is an unstoppable tune from his brand new album, Second Grace. I have to say it’s one of my favorites.