“What Comes Next” – Theresa Andersson
With its unconventional use of brass band and snare drum, “What Comes Next” quickly announces its boundary-free musical identity, blending traditional New Orleans sounds with an outlier sensibility that attentive listeners may just be able to link to Andersson’s home country of Sweden. Not that Sweden–with arguably the richest and most significant rock’n’roll history of any non-English-speaking country—has just one way of doing rock’n’roll. But from the outside looking in, one can hear generalized ideas and sensibilities that feel musically Swedish. What makes Andersson’s music so potent is that she has by now been living in New Orleans longer than she lived in her native country. She has absorbed both environments and is coming out swinging here. It’s a beautiful piece of work.
I love how she works the martial drum work into a song that glides and swings so smoothly. I love the eccentric punctuation provided by the loose/tight horn section (very NOLA). And I love the swaying hook of the romantic chorus, which sounds like nothing the introduction or the verse of this song has prepared us for, musically, and yet once heard, it’s exactly where we should be. Peter Moren, of Peter Bjorn and John, provides some multi-faceted backing vocals here, often of the fetching octave-harmony variety.
Andresson has been in New Orleans since 1991, when, at 18, she moved there to be with guitarist Anders Osborne both musically and personally. To date she is probably best known for the one-woman-band video she made for her song “Na Na Na,” which to me better shows off her appealing personality than her songwriting. You can add to the more than one million views it’s gotten if you haven’t already, below. (Note that she made the video for potential venues, so they would know what to expect from her loop-oriented performances. She was not trying to go viral.) “What Comes Next” is the first available song from Andersson’s forthcoming album, Street Parade, arriving in April on the New Orleans-based Basin Street Records.