agne_b is a 29-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Lithuania. She started her musical career at the age of 7 as a classical musician, playing the violin and the piano, which still strongly influences her work. Her knack for poetry eventually converted into songwriting and she just released her debut EP called A+. Having created a very interesting sound for herself, agne_b’s new EP is a melancholic, seductive, introspective piece that really turns heads. The album explores a classical, alternative pop mix.
With 7 tracks and an 18 minutes run time, A+ has songs that are rooted in agne_b’s personal experiences and is definitely an explorative art piece in itself. The EP is divided into 3 discs. Disc 1 consists of 3 tracks – “let mE GO”, “Interlude” and “YANDERE!!!”. “let mE GO” is an electronic piece that strongly features agne_b’s vocals. The music in this track has a lot of distorted echoes that really emphasize the emotional standpoint of the song. “Interlude” is a traditionally classical piano piece which continues into the next track, “YANDERE!!!”, which is beautifully sung and heavily features a violin and agne_b’s beautiful harmonies. The song talks about jealousy and really establishes an eerie atmosphere.
Disc 2 has 3 tracks as well – “Hurricanes”, “Išėjo tėvelis į mišką.” and “Pasiklausyk”. “Hurricanes” begins with an 50s-60s type of harmony that really sets the tone for the rest of the song. It involves very well produced and layered harmonies that work on multiple levels, which really makes you feel like you are watching a performance piece. However, I think that one of my favourite pieces from the EP is “Išėjo tėvelis į mišką”. The track takes you down a nostalgia lane of your first memories of learning music. You don’t even have to have the memories for this track to trigger the atmosphere – it will engulf you in its comforting, home videoesque feel. The third track, “Pasiklausyk”, picks up the pace of the album. The song features agne_b in her full glory – piano, violin and beautiful harmonies.
Disc 3 consists of one song – “you know who you are”. The song has an eerie start that mentions the lines, “running, fetching; my breath catching…” It really does remind me of children running around in meadows playing catch. The song soon picks up from this and transforms itself into a piece that really stands up for itself.
We also had the pleasure of interviewing agne_b and here is what she had to say:
1. This is your first album. It was definitely an interesting concept, and nothing like I’ve ever heard before. Can you tell me what the thought process behind the album was?
Thank you so much! Well, I wouldn’t call it a full-length album; it’s my first solo EP! I have done a bit of playing and recording in bands before, so when I went solo, it took me a while to decide whether I wanted to start releasing music in singles, or EP’s/albums. My first initial idea were singles, but I had quite a few songs I couldn’t decide between and thought would work well together in a set instead, so that’s kind of how the EP came about.
2.The album seems very introspective – I personally felt very melancholic listening to it. Can you elaborate on that? Did you know from the beginning that this was a concept that you wanted to work on?
No, not at all. As I’ve mentioned before, the songs on the EP were works that I put together as I thought they glued well. I guess this is where the melancholy comes in – all of these chosen songs are very personal to me, representing feelings that are pretty dark and were either experienced by me or people around me. Mental health and derealization in “let mE GO”, jealousy in “YANDERE!!!”, death and grief in “Hurricanes”, suicide in “Pasiklausyk” and tiresome romantic feelings in “you know who you are”. All different subjects, but similar moods and themes.
3. Your album art logo is very interesting. Can you tell me more about it? Is it relevant to your music in a symbolic way?
So my name is agne_b; if you look inside the circle, you can see the b within the a, which whilst mirrored, creates the image of the heart and the arrow. The b is also made to look like the ♭ sign in music, which stands for “flat” and is usually associated with more gloomy sounds. To be honest, the heart and the arrow in the logo were completely incidental as I’ve discovered them after mirroring the a and the b; it did work very well though, and I believe it represents my music well too (arrow through the heart a.k.a. heavy heartbreaking feelings, circle a.k.a. feelings that are usually kept inside). I hope that makes sense!
4. Disc 2 really struck a chord with me – especially the voice of the child and the man singing together in “Išėjo tėvelis į mišką.”. Can you tell me a bit about this track and what you wanted to explore through it?
So even though this track is on the EP as a separate track, it is actually the outro to “Hurricanes”. The child that you hear on the track is me, and the male voice – my late grandfather, who inspired “Hurricanes” after his death nearly 7 years ago. I wrote “Hurricanes” as a tribute to him. With regard to how the recordings came about; when I was a child, my grandfather used to record me singing/playing violin/reading poems/whatever else so he and grandmother would have something to listen to whilst my parents and I were unable to visit. These tapes were made on basic equipment and recorded onto cassettes which I gathered many years later, and managed to get help with extracting the audio. There were really no order to these recordings, and they were quite random; let’s say, the track “Išėjo tėvelis į mišką.” wasn’t edited at all, or put together in any way – that’s literally how the whole thing came out of the cassette!
You can even hear the Sunday mass in the background, which was something else my grandfather liked to record – the audio must have intertwined by mistake, but I really like it! It gives a nostalgic eeriness to it. Also, if you listen closely in “Hurricanes”, you’ll hear some more samples of me as a child every now and again, and you can also hear my grandfather at the beginning, counting the song in, in Lithuanian.
5. Your music had a cinematic feel to it and really went on a whole journey. Can you tell me who are your biggest musical influences?
Thank you; a lot of people say that, actually! I reckon that feel is initially formed by my background in classical music, and I also really love dramatic artists/bands with a big sound. Some of my all-time favorites include Evanescence, Muse, Bring Me The Horizon and Meg Myers; all for their unique input to the world of music.
6. Do you have more music planned for us? What do you see for yourself in the future?
Well, first, I think I’ll commit to recording/releasing singles rather than EP’s/albums; that way it’ll be easier to manage recording costs, and I’ll be able to release music more often. I’d also like to dip into some other genres, such as lo-fi – I always wanted to write some chill music rather than all doom and gloom, so will have to see how that goes! There’s also more songs that didn’t quite fit into the mood of the EP that I’d love to show you, and a small covers EP that’s already recorded, but is yet to be released! All I can say, will see what the future holds, but there’s definitely going to be more!
A+ by agne_b is rightfully named so and is something you must really check out.