Wistful melancholy from Icelandic troubadour

The passage from champion javelin thrower to critically praised singer-songwriter is a road rarely travelled. In fact, Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson –better known to music-lovers as Ásgeir–is likely to be the only person to have made that particular journey. But with a back injury curtailing the sporting ambitions of a young man who’d already represented his country on the athletics field, the javelin was swapped for an acoustic guitar –and to astonishingly quick effect: Ásgeir’s 2012 debut album sold in such quantities that one in every ten Icelanders owns a copy. Since then, his wistful, snow-flecked songs have earned his comparisons with Justin ‘Bon Iver’ Vernon, while snagging the ear of Reykjavik resident John Grant, who translated that debut album into English. “His knack for melody and gorgeous harmonies,” says Grant, “should make him a household name, no matter what the language.”