Most of you know her as the energetic drummer of the all-female Danish group Selvhenter (and if not, you’d better do it soon, for your own sake). Others may recognize her from the alternative Valby Vokalgruppe or her homage to the great Egyptian singer Oum Kulthoum. She – Anja Jacobsen – prefers to go by the title Frk. Jacobsen, and finally, after a five-year hiatus she returns with a full-length album that follows Frk Jacobsen debut EP «Lobsters» (Eget Værelse, 2013).
You can forgive Frk. Jacobsen for letting us wait for so long. She is one-of-her-kind musician with a colorful, imaginative sonic universe of her own. She is funny, wise, dreamy and charming in a very special way. She transforms her everyday experiences and emotions into cosmic, spiritual and sometimes even mysterious stories, rooted in Copenhagen as only she sees it.
«Thin Dry Sticks» is staged as playful journey throughout the life of a woman who is a mother, daughter and spouse who experiences birth and death. On the title-song she welcomes fleeting enlightenments during a bike ride in her windy city. She comes to terms with her pregnancy, «being two humans in one body» on «Doublo» and is totally transfixed by the roaring sea on «Storman». Frk. Jacobsen later introduces more characters from her inner world to this vivid play – Ida the mother and her daughter Miranda, the touching, elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Scorpii, the seductive Thanatos and the poet Stesichoros. All meet and mingle in a magical, trans-galactic garden, portrayed on the front cover by Katrine Hoffmeyer Tougård.
«Thin Dry Sticks», more than «Lobsters», suggests the seminal influence of Laurie Anderson (especially Anderson’s work circa the film «Home of The Brave», 1986) on Frk. Jacobsen. Like Anderson, Frk. Jacobsen penned a thematic cycle of songs, runs wild with her imagination and surreal thoughts, and knows how to fuse her witty experimental veins into catchy, surprising melodic pop-song formats. The sonic setting – with Frk. Jacobsen angelic, often synthesized vocals, lush, vintage keyboards and hypnotic, electroacoustic, percussive sounds together with Svin’s Lars Bech Pilgaard guitar wizardry and spectacular noises – stresses the connection to Anderson work. Both sound as offering a small-scale , fresh reincarnation of the sonic envelope of Anderson and her team on «Home of the Brave» – guitarist Adrian Belew, keyboardist Joy Askew and percussionist David van Tiegham – bringing it to the dreamy sceneries of 21st century Copenhagen, making it feel more natural and hospitable there.
But Frk. Jacobsen sound like no one. Trust her and run and grab your vinyl copy of «Thin Dry Sticks». Anyway, soon enough, you may find yourself humming one and possibly more of Frk. Jacobsen songs. But then it may be too late to ask yourself, how did i get here?
Anja Jacobsen (v, dr, keys), Lars Bech Pilgaard (g), Lil Lacy (keys, v, c), Nicolai Kaas Claesson (b, c)