I had to close my eyes :: VOTD

Little Star :: Stina Nordenstam
from the album, Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack
Directed by Michel Gondry

Chances are, if you know Stina Nordenstam from anywhere, it will be from this one song. Little Star appeared not only on Stina Nordenstam’s And She Closed Her Eyes, but the soundtrack for Romeo + Juliet, which turns out to be quite a prolific album. Radiohead shows up on it, as do Garbage, Everclear, Craig Armstrong and a host of others. But the big single from this soundtrack is one you’ll know even better: Lovefool by the Cardigans. They’re no strangers no Nordenstam comparisons, either. OK, some of it’s purely on a “you’re Swedish? They’re Swedish!” basis, but the comparison — on this song in particular — is well warranted. ~ OneWeekOneBand.

Stina Nordenstam’s voice led to early comparisons with artists such as Rickie Lee Jones and Björk. Her early albums, Memories of a Colour and And She Closed Her Eyes were jazz-influenced with elements of alternative rock. 1997’s Dynamite began a more experimental path–most of the album was filled with distorted guitars and unusual beats. A 1998 cover album, People Are Strange, followed in the same vein. In 2001 Nordenstam went with a more pop-influenced sound on This Is Stina Nordenstam, and features guest vocals from Brett Anderson. Nordenstam’s 2004 album The World Is Saved continued the path set on This Is…, but presents a more realized sound and acknowledges her earlier jazz influences.

Her guest appearances include collaboration with David Sylvian’s band Nine Horses, including tracks from the album Snow Borne Sorrow and the Money for All EP. She also sang on Vangelis’ Song Ask the Mountains, she did To the Sea with Yello and a collaboration with Anton Fier. In 2000, Nordenstam featured on a track from Danish prog-rockers Mew’s second album Half The World Is Watching Me. The track was later re-recorded for the band’s international debut Frengers.

Nordenstam is also accomplished in fields such as photography and music video directing. She is known to be reclusive: she gives very few interviews and she hasn’t performed live since the Memories of a Colour tour. She even alters her appearance using wigs and make-up for album covers and magazines. During the promotion for The World Is Saved, however, she gave more interviews than usual.

Editor’s Note: The Romeo + Juliet soundtrack is on my list of all-time favorite soundtracks. So many of the songs transcended their presence in the movie, and stuck with me long past each scene they were a part of. Not to say that I don’t love the movie, too, because I do, but some of the songs – especially this one and Radiohead’s Talk Show Host – hold a place in my music drunk heart, and have been part of many a mix both given away, and kept as soundtrack to my own life.

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