So, Axel traded Amsterdam for the seaside town of Brighton where he recorded the EP Youthful Hearts.
Living in Brighton gave Axel "the clarity to move to Iceland."
Born and raised in the 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.
It yielded an international phenomenon in the form of the title track, generating over 40 million streams.
Last year, Axel returned to Iceland, and chose to plant roots in the capital Reykjavík.
Tapping into the DIY spirit of his earliest recordings, but with a sense of refinement and newfound wisdom, Axel recorded his debut EP Tourist with producer Ian Grimble (1975, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Daughter, Bear's Den).
The dreamy EP - which includes previously released singles Tourist & Driving Hours as well as soulful tracks like Sea Creatures and Moonstone - is a collection of songs about moving home and finding respite from loneliness.
Speaking about the EP, Axel explains:
"I've been quite lost with where I wanted to go and where I wanted my music to take me.
"And now, I feel like I've let go a bit to let my music speak for itself.
"While putting this EP and the upcoming album together, I stopped trying to control everything and just did what felt right at the time.
"It's the most honest picture of what my music represents to me."