Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Like Lori Carson, Stina Nordenstam has spent a fair amount of her career shedding comparisons to Rickie Lee Jones. Though a little similar, the majority of Nordenstam's work is more fragile -- delicate enough to be knocked over by the slightest of breezes. Since the early '90s, Nordenstam has developed a highly intimate, childlike sound that has either lured or repelled listeners. Though her debut, Memories of a Color, was quite formative and was held back by bland jazz leanings, it nonetheless earned the admiration of British label 4AD, who were interested in signing her. It didn't work out, but the encounter put Nordenstam under the spell of the label's Red House Painters and This Mortal Coil. The recording of her debut left her emotionally drained; three years passed before the release of And She Closed Her Eyes, a wider-ranging and more brooding record that critics viewed as a major step forward. Darker still was 1996's Dynamite, which all but abandoned any of the soft ambience of prior LPs in favor of industrial-informed beats and guitar scrapings. The covers album People Are Strange surfaced in 1998, featuring renditions of songs by the likes of Prince, Tim Hardin, and Leonard Cohen. This Is Stina Nordenstam was issued in 2001, which featured a pair of duets with Suede's Brett Anderson. Three years later, she released The World Is Saved. Also in demand as a session vocalist, Nordenstam has worked with Vangelis, Bill Laswell, and the Flesh Quartet.