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Review: 'I'm Kingfisher'

-  Label: 'Playground Music'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '10/10/11'

Our Rating:
The third album by Thomas Jonsson is a beguiling one. Dark, introverted, and an absolute world away from more commercial takes on the one-man-and-his-guitar genre, 'Arctic' was always going to be one for acquired tastes.

As much influenced by the picked, leftfield dynamics of John Fahey and Bill Callahan as the hushed vocals of Will Oldham, the record is at once both polite but dramatic, turning over its ideas, ruminating between topics and within the genre, track on track.

At the midway point, Smile With Your 1000 Teeth is an undoubted highlight, as is the undoubted craft that has gone into Nansen but as a full album there is a sense that 'Arctic' isn't quite the body of work that matches its predecessors. Bestowed with some wonderful press in the past, he may find it harder to come by with this record as there are very little shards of light to be found amongst the sombre mood he creates. If we may use a cheap Oldham reference, it's clear that Jonsson does, indeed, 'see a darkness'.

An artist, by all means, and a talented one, particularly with his use of guitar - with 'Arctic' a worthy body of work - but it seems to me that Jonsson will struggle to break new territories until he, well, cheers up a bit. He doesn't need to smile with 1000 teeth, just to sound a little more like he's smiling at all.
  author: lizharvs

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I'm Kingfisher - Arctic