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  • David Bentley

Resmiranda – Sisterhood (Single)

I’m a little bit behind on this one. I knew it was coming but somehow contrived to forget about it.

Resmiranda is Åsa Larsson, from Central Sweden. ‘Resmiranda’ is a character out of Swedish folklore.

She’s only been mentioned a couple of times before in NMR but she is one of many artists who are reviewed here that I found at a small festival there a few years ago.  If I remember she actually opened the event during the afternoon when there was a critical ice hockey game on TV so there were only three people in her audience, but she made an impression on me all the same.

The variety in her short act hooked me as she played something akin to droning electronic organ meditational music (since then she organised Monday morning online meditation sessions), followed by a funky number about  Lilith, Adam’s wife before Eve. She isn’t limited by range in any sense though social commentary is at the heart of many of her songs. She’s an ardent environmentalist and helps run an organisation, TreeSisters, the title of which is self-explanatory. Indeed her debut album last year was called ‘For the Trees’. It’s an extraordinary thing, the first part consisting of four regular songs and the second, The Calling’, a 33-minute long progressive concept piece.

She is similar in some ways to her compatriot Gaeya, who we have reviewed twice in the last few months.

One particular skill Åsa has that I wish I did is the ability to write a song to someone else’s poem (not lyrics - a poem - which is a different thing altogether). And that is what she’s done with ‘Sisterhood’. She’s been working with Clare Dubois, who is the poet and, like her, a feminist. (This song’s title should be a giveaway in that respect).

I’ve come across ‘Sisterhood’ before. She isn’t a full-time musician. Writing and recording the album took years, including the loss of most of her early recordings. But she has released other songs along the way and an early version of ‘Sisterhood’, which wasn’t on ‘For the Trees’, was one of them, also three years ago, by way of a YouTube video which unfortunately is not longer accessible publicly.

When I reviewed it at that time I said I didn’t think it was the finished product; that there might be some adjustments to it before it was released formally. And there have been. There seem to be some synth effects I don’t recall and a modified vocal in the bridge.

I can say with my hand on my heart that this song, with its rolling French accordion straight out of a village square bistro in Provence, its dulcimer (I think that’s the instrument), and its gentle changes of direction, is lovely. It used to have a drawn-out sci-fi like instrumental ending but that seems to have been lost, more’s the pity.

All streaming income from the song will be donated to TreeSisters.

Fun facts about Åsa Larsson. She has a farming background and is one of a handful of Swedes who retain the ability to engage in ‘Kulning’ – the art of calling livestock (cows, goats, etc.) from pastures where they have been grazing during the day. There’s a video of her doing it with a couple of swans which went viral. She also took part in a Swedish TV talent show with a singing dog!

Speaking of videos, how about making the ‘Sisterhood’ one public again, Åsa?

‘Sisterhood’ was released on 23rd October and is available on most streaming platforms.

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