Arctic is the first album by Swedish indie/folk-artist Thomas Denver Jonsson to carry the new moniker of ‘I’m Kingfisher’. He has been making music professionally since 2001 and this is his fourth album. The name change appears to have been accompanied by a new air of confidence: where there were more band arrangements on his previous releases Arctic has more solo based arrangements with greater experimental depth. The decision to change his name is significant and marks a change that has probably been bubbling under the surface for some time.
Arctic was released in the UK in April 2011, it is a conceptual album (the first in a trilogy) about early polar expeditions, the theme extends into human experience of solitude and wanting to reach out, something that ‘I’m Kingfisher‘ is very familiar with having grown up in a very small town where childhood dreams focused around escape and progression from what must have felt like a very static existence. This is reflected in the darkness of Arctic but there is also an underlying hope that lifts throughout the album with sweet melodies.
Comparissions to M. Ward, Neil Young, Alasdair Roberts and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy have been used to describe his music, Arctic delves deeper than previous releases and unleashes the shadowed talents of this young singer songwriter through the use of stripped down arrangements which serve as a spotlight on both his vocal and lyrical talents. Whilst the melodies lighten the solitude evoked by the music so the lyrics draw you ever deeper into the arctic world helped, not least of all, by I’m Kingfisher‘s uniquely captivating voice.
The pace of the album is like a journey and builds to a crescendo with Expedition which musically evokes a state of panic and disturbance before descending to a meditative reflection with ‘The Whale Hunt‘, the slowed pace and delivery reminiscent of Josh T Pearson.
I’m Kingfisher is clearly ‘in the zone’ with this release. It is his first of hopefully many new forays into new found musical freedom. The gentle nature of the music, experimentation and subtle electronica draw out his incredible voice and lyrics, this is just the beginning.
Willing Night Plants
Smile With Your 1000 Teeth
Arctic Fox Too Majestic For The Tundra