Thea Hjelmeland created a beautiful atmosphere at Sputnik Kino where she played on Tuesday night for a nicely crowded room with the talented drummer Jonas Barsten and guitarist Pablo Tellez. The whole event was intimate, like friends gathering together, and the band seemed to be having fun playing in this unusual space – or being the film of the night, as Hjelmeland put it.
Hjelmeland’s delicate yet intense songs were nothing less than mesmerizing and painted an image of northern fjords and aurora borealis at Sputnik Kino – before taking the audience to someplace funkier with Cuban rhythms and other ethnic influences. Mixing and matching those rhythms with traces of folk-pop and rock, the night wasn’t lacking either edge or groove.
The band played the songs from Hjelmeland’s freshly released album Solar Plexus, in which she has taken one step forward in creating her own unique style. The album sounds stronger and in a way catchier than her first album Oh, the Third, which already showed the potential and talent of this original artist. Hjelmeland is known as a multi-instrumentalist yet of all the instruments she played at Sputnik there was one above them all – that being her bright voice which she’s able to use in the most imaginative ways.
One can just as easily picture Hjelmeland play her music on a big stage with an entire orchestra – which she’s done with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, by the way – as in a small movie theatre with only a drummer and a guitarist by her side like in Sputnik. She still has three gigs left in Germany on this tour so if you haven’t seen her yet, now’s your chance. And if you already have, well, go again – you know it’s worth it.
9.10. Hamburg – Nachtasyl
9.10. Marburg – KFZ
10.10. Hannover – Feinkost Lampe
Review by Kiira Koskela