Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thomas Hansen 1976 - 2007

Weird thing happened to me tonight. The plan was to do some work on a website and then do a piece on the new Cass McCombs album (this'll come tomorrow) for gimcrack. Searching through my cd's for something to distract me from my work I laid eyes on 'There's Only One of Me' by Saint Thomas, the sixth and regretfully last album by this Norwegian ex-postman.

I hadn't heard it in a while, when I picked it up earlier this summer I played it (particularly one song) non-stop for a week and had grown tired of it. In parts it can be a fairly harrowing and desolate listen, with Hansen singing honestly and bravely about his mental problems and struggles with drink and anti-depressants.

Track 7 got me again tonight, I love it so much, can't explain why it's any better than the other songs on the album or any other album by any other artist but tonight this song was all I wanted to listen to. I stuck it on repeat and started sketching away ideas for the website, I must've listened to it over 25 times. I headed over to the Saint Thomas website so see what's up, any new recordings on the horizon, only to be punched in the gut by this message:

Last night, my incredibly dear friend Thomas Hansen was found passed away in his apartment in Oslo. He was 31 years old.

Today is a tough day for his friends and family, and for all of those who were touched by the music he created. Many sang better than him or knew more chords on the guitar, but Thomas had a fantastic sense for melody that was surpassed by few. He would phone you up and ask for a suggestion for a song title, and thirty minutes later he would call again and play you the incredible song that he had just written and recorded for you.

Thomas struggled at many points in his life, his mental problems and addictions were public knowledge because he dared to speak about them. What would be his latest record was recorded at the lowest point of his life, a brutally honest album detailing the struggles of addiction and pain that he was experiencing. He got help and he got better, but there was always the struggle in his life between the shy boy who just wanted to be left alone and the artist who had to look his audience in the eye.

Hopefully, he has finally found peace.

My deepest sympathies to Beth, Terje and Kate. Getting to know your son and your brother was the most important thing that ever happened in my life. I miss him so much.

See you on the other side, Thomas.

Reidar A. Eik
September 11th 2007

This is the worst I've felt in a long while.
Here's the song I couldn't stop playing tonight which, to me, will never sound the same again.
R.I.P Saint Thomas.

Saint Thomas - My Morning mp3

Saint Thomas Website
Yes Boy Ice Cream Records

- RV.

1 comment:

fiachra said...

Great piece fella, Very sad stuff alright, the man was like some sort of mythical folk viking figure and it just doesn't seem possible that he's gone.