Why Agnes Obel built 200 layers of strings on her song 'Familiar'
Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel took no shortcuts writing her song, "Familiar."
The track, off her 2016 album Citizen of Glass, is a gorgeously haunting song about "the transformation of being in love," and its lush production is thanks to a laborious process of building layers.
"I knew where I wanted to go but it wasn't that clear; I couldn't sit and write it down on a piece of paper," Obel explains. "There were many textures that I wanted and I could only get them when I had many layers of cello and violin on top of each other."
So, she meticulously recorded, edited and re-recorded 200 layers of strings — and the results were worth it.
Today, Obel breaks down the parts within "Familiar," the meaning behind the song and how an accidental experiment with pitch-shifting led to one of the song's most dynamic moments.
— Produced by Elaine Chau