Hummingbird, Go! – Theresa Andersson

Label: Basin Street Records

If Theresa Andersson’s new album, ‘Hummingbird, Go!’ album is anything to go by it’s a pity she didn’t discover her kitchen ten years earlier.  Mixed by Linus Larsson (Peter Bjorn and John, Mercury Rev) and played and produced almost entirely by the New Orleans based-Swede herself, the album effortlessly surpasses Andersson’s bland and uninspiring debut and it’s two subsequent straw clutching releases. Clearly this songbird never lacked ability, her five years as violinist for fellow Swede Anders Osborne was testament to that and she has since worked with everyone from The Meters to the Neville Brothers on a range of far-reaching (if variously underachieving) projects. The difference is really one of direction; at long last she appears to have found one.

Most writers will tell you that your mojo is very often in the last place you are prepared to look. And in Andresson’s case it just so happened to be found rattling around like somekind of disturbed moth in the kitchen. Fair enough, Tobias Froberg was on hand to help with the dishes and to cobble all manner of regular appliances into somekind of domestic ensemble (pans, wine glasses, pots, table tops and spoons) but it’s Theresa’s command of a loop pedal that brings the whole rag and bone philosophy of the record alive. First she whips up a kick and scratch drum groove, adds a few vocal riffs, stirs in some chords, something vaguely resembling a picked violin, some sax and then smothers the whole delicious layer-cake with her fabulously tasty tonsils. It’s the musical equivalent of sprinkling a bag of magic-dust over a crock of junk and seeing it spring to life.

Remember Bagpuss? An old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams one minute but as soon as Emily arrives both he, the mice on the mouse organ and the scraggy old bits of shite brought in for him to look at are transformed before our eyes into something wonderful and new. Well it’s a bit like that. Only with a stunning selection of showtunes and inspired goofing around by way of gift-wrapping.

Don’t like the loops? Well I’ll have to disagree: the secret of most sucessful records is that they go around. And around. And around. Often humming.

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Release: Theresa Andersson - Hummingbird, Go!
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Released: 21 October 2008