Gadgets, pedals push creativity By Jess Righthand Friday, June 15, 2012
It’s not that Swedish-born singer Theresa Andersson comes into her own with her latest release. “Street Parade” finds this musical Renaissance woman already midstream in the current of her own creativity.
Today’s proliferation of looping pedals and other fun DIY gadgets affords many a singer-songwriter expanded capabilities in both live and studio settings. But anyone who has watched Andersson’s YouTube video performance of “Na Na Na” in her kitchen understands just how potent the artist’s use of these tools can be. She is essentially a one-woman show; on this album she plays everything from percussion and violin to glockenspiel.
Here, the result of her savvy multi-instrumentalism is a sound so big you won’t believe it’s mostly just her. Layers of vocal harmonies and horns mingle with percussion to create a thunderous symphony. This approach is most impactful in the offensively titled “Injuns,” perhaps the standout anthem of the album. The song showcases Andersson’s impressive vocal range and knack for writing songs that push the boundaries between catchy and complex.
On “Street Parade,” there are traces of Andersson’s native Sweden and her current base near New Orleans. Those eclectic influences -- combined with her explosive talent and instincts -- continue to make this artist one of the most enigmatic and creative voices around.