On the surface, early polar exploration doesn’t seem like prime material for a quietly moving modern song cycle but I’m Kingfisher swoops and dives at life in unique ways. This new solo incarnation for Sweden’s Thomas Jonsson is thoughtful but not somnambulant, inquisitive but rarely direct, ready to blame it on the boogie or credit the darkening of the sun to one’s failures but in the next breath putting everything into making a thankful, strong future, all the while the aural landscape shifts subtly, acoustic guitar the rudder but all manner of moods and textures touched upon.
Arctic, I’m Kingfisher’s tantalizing debut, travels from “Willing Night Plants” through “Deer Theatre” and a “Smile With Your 1000 Teeth,” winding up on a lost continent surrounded by foxes. It is a meditative, melancholy trek but one flecked with humor and oddly beveled poetry, a relative to Iron & Wine, Damien Jurado and most especially M. Ward – about whom Jonsson is “like an Iron Maiden and Tokio Hotel fan combined in one person.” The natural world and the inner world swirl their complexities in I’m Kingfisher, with leaves stealing one’s virginity and dreams becoming tangible on a clear day. It is, like all of Thomas Jonsson’s earlier work, worth simmering inside, where the true flavor and depth arrive with time.
We asked Thomas to ponder our lil’ philosophical exercise and here’s what he had to say.
- What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you see the word “God”?
- Real or not, I can now more than ever relate to someone who went public with a fresh idea, started his own company to pitch it, and then got drowned in paperwork.
- Which has the better cosmology, Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
- Star Wars, at least until the three new movies that sucked. Still, a universe containing Boba Fett can’t be nothing else than the best.
- Name one album that has spiritual resonance for you.
- I always feel that Helios’ Eingya hits a special spot in me.
- Woody Allen once said, “I don’t know the question but sex is definitely the answer.” So, what’s the question?
- I hate to pass that one, Dennis. You know, I might have made a conceptual album recently about early polar expeditions, but some subjects are just too far out from my reference scale.
- You can have a dinner party with any three people throughout human history. Who do you invite, what’s on the menu and what intoxicant do you share for dessert?
- I’d love to share some Indian palak paneer with the polar expedtioner Scott Falcon (who raced and lost the race to the South Pole against Roal Amundsen and died on his way back to the base camp), US actor Gena Rowlands and UK actor Philip Davis. In that company, I think I’d definitely feel comfortable enough to end the night with LSD.