New music we like: Theresa Andersson

New music we like: Theresa Andersson

We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.

Album: Street Parade by Theresa Andersson (out now on Basin Street Records)

Press play if you like: Basia Bulat, Laura Veirs, Neko Case

Some background: Theresa Andersson moved to New Orleans more than 20 years ago, transitioning from a musical and personal relationship with fellow Swedish singer-songwriter Anders Osborne to her own successful career. Long popular within the city’s music scene, she’s earned more widespread acclaim through constant touring and consistently excellent releases. Her process of using loops and pedals to create a one-woman band helped gain her more notice when videos for “Na Na Na” and “Birds Fly Away” went viral. But Andersson’s voice and talent transcend gimmickry on the new Street Parade. While the album finds inspiration in New Orleans and Mardi Gras, the proceedings are draped with melancholy, with Andersson’s voice carrying an echo that lends the music a dreamy, ethereal feeling. While the title track opens the album at a parade, Andersson laments, “Glitter raining down / flowers fill the ground / Tomorrow it all burns to ash.” Syncopated, ramshackle percussion drive “Endymion,” while a baritone sax grounds the funky “Fiya’s Gone,” a take on ’60s pop that grows claws as Andersson turns vicious, teasing, “I know I broke your heart.” Yet beyond the intricate instrumentation, the singer remains purposely disconnected. Street Parade captures a sense of celebration set against one of isolation, and Andersson is stuck in a somber purgatory between worlds and threatening to float away.

Try this: Beginning with just a pair of bleating clarinets, “Hold On To Me” adds vocals, percussion, piano, and horns to create a rapturous cacophony before fading out to a tinkling xylophone. The musical tapestry keeps her barely tethered until she manages to cut free, gently gliding away.