Following the interest shown in one of the artists I watched at a recent indie festival in Sweden (Solblomma Hedin), several of the others will shortly be releasing debut albums and singles. And first out of the blocks is Åsa Larsson (no relation to Zara) – who also performs as Resmiranda, a character out of Swedish folklore.
Resmiranda was the first performer I saw at the festival – and the variety in her short act hooked me as she played something akin to droning electronic organ meditational music, followed by a funky number about Lilith, Adam’s wife before Eve. She isn’t limited by range in any sense – though social commentary is at the heart of many of her songs. She’s particularly adept at playing church organs, in a way that sometimes reminds you of Anna von Hausswolff , but not as ‘destructively’.
One particular skill she has that I wish I did is the ability to write a song to someone else’s poem (not lyrics – a poem – which is a different thing altogether). And that is what she’s done with ‘Sisterhood’, the first track off what will be her debut album later this year.
She’s been working with Clare Dubois, who is the poet and, like her, a feminist. That might put off as many people as it attracts but as an alpha male (wishful thinking) I can say with my hand on my heart that this song, with its rolling French accordion straight out of a village square bistro in Provence, its dulcimer (I think that’s the instrument), its sudden changes of direction, complex bridge and unusual ending, is lovely.
I’m not sure this is the finished product; there might be some adjustments to it before the album is released. ‘The Forest of your Wild Self’ and ‘This Dream’, other Clare Dubois poems which are also on You Tube are, I believe, also album tracks.
Interesting fact about Åsa Larsson. She lives on a farm and is one of a handful of Swedes who retain the ability to engage in ‘Kulning’ – the art of calling livestock (cows, goats, etc.) down from high mountain pastures where they have been grazing during the day. Singing to the cows. That has to be a first, even for TMB.