Hummingbird, Go! is full of open space. Even when there are toe-tapping rhythms and multiple instruments, one still has the impression that it was recorded in a vast, open warehouse with all of the players spread out in it. Interestingly enough, the album was in fact recorded in Swedish singer/songwriter Theressa Andersson's New Orleans kitchen, with Andersson making use of a variety of improvised instruments pulled from the corners of her house.
It took a few listens before I began to appreciate the complexity and depth of Andersson's music. It's quirky and a bit more subdued that the assortment of rock-tinged pop that tends to be on regular rotation in my house. Putting away all other distractions and focusing on the album alone, I was able to hear the energy and drive of her performance that was not as apparent when approaching the recording casually. Andersson's creative use of unorthodox instrumentation and unexpected arrangements need the listener's full attention to be appreciated.
Despite the attention and care put into this recording, Hummingbird, Go! doesn't take itself too seriously. Listening to "Introducing the Kitchenettes," an instrumental track with vocals but no lyrics, one can almost hear the grins on the singers' faces as they move through the do-wap chords. Andersson clearly enjoys playing with musical styles and listener expectations.
The percussion rhythms on both "Na Na Na" and "Birds Fly Away" are toe-tapping and irresistibly dance-inducing, providing a balance to the beautiful-yet-mellow tracks that fill most of the rest of the album. The duet with Norwegian singer Ane Brun ("Innan Du Går") is particularly breathtaking with its intertwining vocal harmonies and softly plucked acoustic guitar.
Produced by Tobias Fröberg, who also wrote many of the song's lyrics (along with Jessica Faust), Theresa Andersson's Hummingbird, Go! is an artistic blend of organic instruments that culminate into an evocative soundscape.