Some time ago, Eydís Evensen wrote a poem. This poem became the basis of a two-part choir composition, describing “a beautiful light that froze,” before concluding with a glimmer of hard-fought hope. “ljósið fagra lifir enn ljósið fagra lifir enn,” echoing voices on the second part of that composition insist – translating in English to “the beautiful light still survives.” The words were a reminder, to herself and to the world, that no matter the darkness around you, there’ll come a point when the pain will begin to thaw, so it’s always worth holding on. “It represents there always being something beautiful at the end of even the most terrible experience,” the Blönduós-born model-turned-piano sensation insists, “no matter how terrible the ordeal.” These words ripple through every note and melody of her astonishing second album, titled – what else? – The Light. It’s a record inspired by the resilience in all of us, she says – our ability to stand firm in the face of personal and collective catastrophe.
The 29-year-old – who also sings on the album, for the first time – confronted her own hardships and sorrows in order to create The Light. Some were born from the crises we all endured together: the Covid-19 pandemic; her horror at Russia’s war on Ukraine; her dread that the glaciers and natural wonders of her native Iceland that inspired her to write music in the first place will soon be devastated by the impact of climate change. There were also personal ordeals – ghosts from her past to be exorcised, demons in her closet that pushed her to challenging brinks. As the toll of these situations weighed on her, Evensen did what she always did: she sat at her piano, stretched her fingers and began to play. “It’s always been like that,” smiles the artist. “I remember [as a child] walking to the piano and being able to let something out by playing the keys. It became a therapist and a best friend to me – I always felt better after I played.”