I have listened to Agnes since 2010, when she appeared on an autumn playlist made by a blogger acquaintance, and I am still not tired of her. I still associate the sound of her piano with the snowstorms of that winter. I hope I can see her live someday–her most recent album is one of the few albums I love as a whole.
I read an interview with her recently about it, and have been turning over these words of hers since then, regarding the title of the title track:
Best Fit: Aventine is one of the hills that ancient Rome was built on. Is that what inspired this song?
Agnes Obel: ‘Aventine’ was a song that I wrote on piano first and then I worked with some viola samples. It was very joyful and playful but it had an edge of something else to it as well, which was not necessarily as joyful and playful as its other parts. And then it felt like it was a song about working intuitively, working in the dark and feeling joyful about it but also worrying about it, sort of…what am I doing? I thought of it as walking up a hill, something really naïve and beautiful about working like that, like you really believe that there is something out there. So I was looking for an image of a hill or a mountain. And suddenly I found Aventine. For me it sounds like a mountain but it also sounds ancient and not really real. And then I read something about it being haunted by birds, of ill omen, and I thought–ah, that’s perfect for my song.