Image © Basin Street Records 2008
More Theresa Andersson:
interview and photos (2008)
Theresa Live at the Bend Studio
Dallas, Tx ~ 05 April 2008
photo © DaveHudPhoto 2008
photo © Miranda Penn Turin 2008
(18 October 2008) Melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre; these are the traditional building blocks of pop music. Though you will find them in abundance on the new album by Swedish born, New Orleans, Louisiana transplant Theresa Andersson, Hummingbird, Go! (Basin Street Records (USA) BSR 1004-2, 2008) hardly sounds like conventional pop. Playing every instrument on the album with the help of a loop pedal, Theresa took elements from her life and surroundings--her Swedish upbringing, New Orleans home, the locusts in her garden, the soda pop bottles in her kitchen--to create the uniquely beautiful tracks on Hummingbird, Go!. Streaming video of at least two of the tracks from the new album are available on YouTube for the interested browser. Read our exclusive interview with the artist as well.
Theresa Andersson's prior recordings are: Vibes (1994) [or perhaps 1996], No Regrets (2002), Shine (2004), Theresa Anderson The EP (2006) [potentially a reissue of earlier work published in 2000] and a teaser EP entitled I The River (June 2008). The artist and her management were unwilling to share the earlier recordings with Musical Discoveries in the preparation of this article therefore we are unable to make comparisons to the artist's earlier career. Readers inform her that the earlier recordings feature her outstanding violin playing and soaring vocals but display more of a band-based edge with some of the material leaning more towards blues and jazz. Our interview focuses on Theresa's newest work.
Hummingbird, Go! was produced by Swedish singer-songwriter/producer Tobias Froberg (Peter Moren's upcoming solo album) and mixed by Linus Larsson (Peter, Bjorn and John, Mercury Rev). Hummingbird, Go! was recorded in Theresa's kitchen. She played all the instruments on the album except on bonus track "Now I Know" which is a duet with legendary New Orleans producer and composer Allen Toussaint (The Meters, Dr. John, The Band, Elvis Costello) and "Innan Du Går", a duet with Norwegian singer Ane Brun. Growing up near her mother's wool spinnery on Gotland, a Swedish Island in the Baltic Sea, Theresa moved to New Orleans when she was 18 and since then has played with the likes of Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, and members of The Meters.
"The kitchen sounds amazing, it has wonderful, natural reverb," Andersson explains. Even the room itself is audible. Theresa created and recorded sounds to match what she heard in her head. The vibraphone on "The Waltz" is actually soda pop bottles filled with varying amounts of liquid, while the slide guitar textures on "Hi-Low" were coaxed from her primary instrument, violin. Mouth percussion doubled for drums. A classical guitar, tuned down, stood in for conventional bass. With her toes turning knobs, as her hands strum guitar or bow a violin, and she sings with a charismatic smile that belies her intense concentration, Andersson's performances are little masterpieces of functional choreography.
Andersson's craft does not end with her music. While mixing the record in Sweden, Andersson also needle felted 1,500 individual CD jackets for the teaser EP "I the River." "I'm fascinated with textures, and love the feel and look of things. When you color wool, the final results depend on how you sort your natural colors to start. It's the same in music," she said.
Theresa maintains an active MySpace site. There you can find streaming audio and also
the fantastic video performance of "Na Na Na" recorded live in her kitchen. The album is available in both digital and physical formats from multiple online outlets. Is Theresa Andersson's "one woman show" just a phase or does it have
the enduring quality to become a permanent sign for things to come? See her fantastic on stage live performance on this tour in case she decides to change direction again.