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Keep Houston Press Free
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Lonesome Onry and Mean: Meet Lena Anderssen

While it has nothing to do with honky tonk or Americana or Texas music, every now and then we come across a compelling artist we just have to blog about.

Name: Lena Anderssen.

Address: Faroe Islands (near Denmark, bubba... kinda like Canada).

Occupation: helluva songwriter in a genre she ironically calls "poetry pop."

If you’re one of those cynics who doesn’t take a man’s word for something, give a listen to the six tracks on her MySpace site and tell me you‘re too cool or too punk or too country or too post-pop-post-industrialist-deconstructionist-garage-rock-indie to embrace this. Start with “Stones in My Pocket,” then try “Put Away Tomorrow for Tonight,” which combines all the pop goodness of Fleetwood Mac or Abba without the slightest hint of cheese.

The little pop rap in “Let Your Scars Dance” is one cool pop lyric, and it’s doubtful anyone can listen to the insane riff and Stevie Nicks vocal vibe on “Can‘t Erase It” and deny that this is definitive smart pop for Now People. Is it great ‘80s pop rock or is it something so new and true the varnish coat is still drying?

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But she’s not done yet. Just when Anderssen has wrenched your heart right out of wherever you keep it, she drops the folky acoustic “Down the Alleyway Backwards” and with one wink of her impish vocal has you ready to carry her books, carry out her trash, do her recycling, feed her cat, walk with her down the alleyway backwards, whatever it takes. Yeah, she’s good.

In ten years, Anderssen has gone from singing for her own amusement to the verge of stardom in Canada and northern Europe. American ears will probably make immediate Nicks connections, but this hard-working woman could fool you into thinking she’s Nanci Griffith or Patty Griffin or Julie Miller with each turn of her voice or her lyrics on any given song.

Here’s an intimate version of “Stones“. - William Michael Smith

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