Inspired by A Beautiful Mess, I started my own Music Jar. I asked friends for band recommendations and am working through them over the course of 2020. This week was the turn of Norwegian truth-sayer, St. Thomas, the performing name of Thomas Hansen.
What I Knew Before
Absolutely zip. I was sat on my lunch break at work, putting my list together, when my friend Tom made the suggestion. He’s a gentleman with an eclectic taste in music, so I figured it was worth a throw.
What I Know Now
I am richer for the experience of having heard St. Thomas. I was initially won over by his whimsical lyrics and piercing Neil Young-esque vocals.
On my second day of listening, I mentioned it to Tom and he recommended I also watch the documentary, Burn The Place You Hide. This helped me understand a lot more about where the music was coming from.
Thomas Hansen formed St. Thomas after listening to Elliott Smith and quitting his job as a postman. He had a unique and beautiful way of looking at the world and truthfully using the content of his own life in his own music. Throughout his life, he struggled with depression and social anxiety and this led to issues with drink and drugs as he attempted to self medicate.
Hansen was unapologetically himself, insisting that the first take of each song be used on a given album, and refusing to perform if the conditions were not perfect.
He was no angel, prone to bouts of self deprecation or micro-aggressions, but there was nothing in his actions which would justify the sad end that he met.
Favourite songs: Be Cool Be Nice, The Cornerman, The Cool Song, Along Long Time, Born Again.
Favourite Album: I don’t want to pick. Mysterious Walks, Hey Harmony and I’m Coming Home all get my vote.