Monday, November 12, 2007

RIP St Thomas


We’re coming towards the end of the year, and as usual, there will be a round-up of the great and the good from the world of music who have sadly departed us this year. This is good and right and I only hope that this year’s round-ups see fit to include Thomas Hansen. I say this because I only found out last week (via Leaky Sparrow) that the Norwegian singer-songwriter who performed under the name St Thomas had died back in September. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard before.

Sure, he wasn’t the best-known artist, but he had released six albums as St Thomas since 2000, toured extensively and even temporarily relocated to Berlin. He was found dead in his apartment in Oslo on 10 September this year.

I only have one of his albums – I’m Coming Home from 2002. It’s a fine collection of songs and was one of my favourites of that year. Though he may come from the northernmost regions of Europe, Hansen was clearly a man in love with his Americana. The album comes across as very Goldrush-era Neil Young – from the acoustic melodies to Thomas’ vocals. I also saw him live a couple of times, including one pleasant evening at The Spitz (also sadly gone) a few years ago with Hansen and his band playing mainly from Hey Harmony, the album after I’m Coming Home, as I remember.

So it’s with a lot of sadness that I heard about his death. Even though he was an artist whom I was only fleetingly familiar, he was a genuine talent, and as such will be sorely missed by many people. This is just my little tribute to him and his music.

Download: St Thomas – Oh I Have Left the Ground
Download: St Thomas – A Nice Bottle of Wine

Buy I’m Coming Home and other St Thomas albums from emusic.

Read the statement by Hansen's friend Reidar A. Eik on the front page of the St Thomas website. Once again, very sad.

2 comments:

Stephan said...

Oh this is sad news indeed. I remember seeing him play a few years ago in England and remembering him being very kind, polite and producing a great show that evening. Although its terrible news, thank you for taking the time and reporting it, I may be out of the loop of things living in the countryside of a far away country but that really was the first I had heard of it.

phaeton said...

The first song I ever learned on the guitar properly was The Cool Song. Thank you for mentioning this, what a tragic shame.