Axel Flóvent Shares Debut Album ‘You Stay by the Sea’; Watch “Still Awake” Music Video
January 15, 2021 BY Nettwerk
Rising Icelandic singer-songwriter Axel Flóvent shares full-length debut, You Stay By The Sea, and the official music video for his latest single “Still Awake” (out now via Nettwerk Records).
Speaking to American Songwriter, Axel says, “[‘Still Awake’] is the high after the low. It’s about the motivation that picks me up after a few dark days. It’s a very toxic thinking pattern because this high takes me into a more active state than the anxiety does, and I can work in this state of mind, but I can’t easily come back from it. I can’t sleep because my OCD kicks in. I need to finish everything before the day is gone because tomorrow might be dark again; I have to use the opportunity while I feel good to do everything that usually paralyzes me. It’s essentially about how everything is great now and wishing every day was like this until the low returns, and I can’t fall asleep again.”
Directed by Berlin-based film director and creative director Maren Langer, the official music video captures the anxiety of an insomniac. “It’s about someone in bed obsessing about a past relationship,” says Axel. Adding, “it’s a simple story decorated in beautiful lighting and sets the scene in an apartment in Berlin. Maren immediately captured the song’s feeling and put together the visuals with some amazing people.”
As if forming aural clouds from the natural elements around him, the music gathers acoustic guitar, piano, and warm electronics across the twelve songs that make up the album. “It’s just quiet,” Axel explains. “There are so many times where the silence is so still. In Reykjavík, we have a lot of emotional and mental space. My path to the studio and running trail is just by the ocean, so I’m always by the sea, hence the title. When I moved back in late 2018, I felt settled. I wasn’t looking for anything anymore. I finally appreciate home and see the beauty in it.” He needed to leave to reach this realization. Born and raised in the tiny Northern fishing village of Húsavík, Axel recorded his first EP Forest Fires, it was here where the songs were written under the influence of everything from Bon Iver to Bombay Bicycle Club, generating over 40 million streams on the title track. With its success, Axel left Húsavík and signed to a major record label in the Netherlands. At 19 years old, he moved into his first apartment and “felt so isolated.” He admits, “I was supposed to be in a music mecca, but I never left the apartment.” So, he traded Amsterdam for the British seaside town of Brighton where he recorded his Youthful Hearts EP. Living in Brighton gave Axel “the clarity to move to Iceland.” Axel returned to Iceland and chose to plant roots in Reykjavík.
Tapping into the D.I.Y. spirit of his earliest recordings, but with a sense of refinement and newfound wisdom, Axel carefully assembled the album with producer Ian Grimble (1975, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Daughter, Bear’s Den, Mumford & Sons). He incorporated brass on nearly every tune, adding a robust organic energy to the tracks. Simultaneously, he chronicled his personal and musical growth. “The ultimate goal was to bind together my old way of writing songs with what I’ve learned and made it sound like one collective,” he elaborates. “Some of these ideas go back to my bedroom in Húsavík, but many of them are fresh and new. I pictured myself on a journey.”
You Stay by the Sea is available HERE: https://axelflovent.ffm.to/ysbts
02. Driving Hours
04. December Traffic
06. Fall Asleep
07. Still Awake
10. How Can I
12. You Stay by the Sea