Interview by Scott Preston
Melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre; these are the traditional building blocks of pop music. Yet although you will find them in abundance on Hummingbird, Go!, the new album by Theresa Andersson hardly sounds like conventional pop. That's because the New Orleans singer-songwriter chose to approach her craft from different perspectives before she even began composing. "I stopped thinking in terms of traditional songwriting," Andersson explains. "I worked on shapes, forms, and textures, scents and colors. Elements which are more earthy and organic inspired me." She would walk along the Mississippi River, or relax in her garden. As ideas emerged, she caught them in her butterfly net – or rather, on her laptop – and let them converge, then blossom.
Produced by Swedish songwriter and recording artist Tobias Fröberg (who also helmed The Last Tycoon for Peter Morén, of Peter Bjorn and John fame), and featuring lyrical contributions from poet Jessica Faust, Hummingbird, Go! evokes a distinctly unique universe via its inventive songs. From the funky backbeat, pizzicato plucking, and vocal leaps of "Birds Fly Away," to the smoldering "Locusts Are Gossiping," with its interwoven vocals – as haunting as any Bulgarian choir – and percussive clicking reminiscent of chattering insects, each cut vibrates with polychromatic detail.
Cincy Groove: Tell me about your new album "Hummingbird Go". Any collaborations? who produced it? How much of it was recorded in your kitchen?
Theresa Andersson: The making of "Hummingbird, Go!" was special. The process was different for me this time as I wrote the music more as one would make a collage piece of art. Finding inspiration in colors, forms and textures in my garden and along the Mississippi river. I handed finished songs to Jessica Faust who magically found just the right words. The entire record was then recorded in my kitchen with Tobias Froberg producing. Tobias and I both grew up on the Swedish island of Gotland. I never knew him then. We met the first time when he played a show in a small New Orleans club 1 1/2 years ago. Working with Tobias really tied my New Orleans influences together with my Swedish background. Tobias introduced me to the fantastic Norwegian artist Ane Brun who contributed her beautiful vocals on the only Swedish track on the album. Also my hero Allen Toussaint joined me on one song.
Cincy Groove: Who do you consider some of your influences?
Theresa Andersson: A lot of New Orleans retro R&B; Allen Toussaint, Betty Harris, Smokey Johnson. I love Leonard Cohen, Bobbie Gentry and Nina Simone. The Swedish singer/songwriter Cornelis Wreeswijk is awesome.
Cincy Groove: How do you feel the internet has affected the music industry?
Theresa Andersson: My personal experience is that it has opened up a lot of doors. There are a lot more avenues to reach potential listeners/fans.
Read the full Interview here