Album release: ‘No One Knows That You’re Lost’ by Tina Refsnes
Release date: 6 November 2015
Label: Vestkyst Records.
More info: Artist website
Hailing from the Norwegian capital of Oslo, Tina Refsnes is a singer-songwriter currently concocting a potent mix of English new-folk and poignant acoustic Americana. Growing up in the small seaside town of Floro, there was an abundance of rain where one could taste the salt from the sea spray up to a mile from the coastline. Growing up, she always longed for the noise and life of a larger city. Despite this her love for the open seascape and mountainous terrain followed her into her songwriting, where she displays elements of Neil Young, Laura Marling and Sufjan Stevens.
She moved to Liverpool and studied and lived there for four years. She loved the sprawling metropolis of urban possibilities, and spent all her time writing songs and playing music. But through her years there, there was always a sensation of not finding the right expression for her writing, so she learned to take her time, saving up her songs so that one day she would be able to do it her way.
Tina had always been fascinated with space in a recording. Her favourite listening experiences were always when you could hear also the person behind the performance - breaths, creaks in floor boards, an out of place thud from strumming your guitar slightly wrong. She wanted the listener to get a physical sense of the distance between him/her and where the performer was situated within the room.
It wasn't till years later, when Tina had moved back to Oslo, Norway that she found what she had been looking for. She heard an album recorded by producer Robbie Lackritz (Feist, Bahamas, The Weather Station) which inspired her to take her songs and travel to Toronto, Canada to find him. Lackritz teamed her and long-time collaborater Eirik Stordrange up with Toronto musicians Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith) and Mike O’Brien (Zeus) and over the course of three weeks, the four of them played together in a single room to form the album.
There is certainly no rush with Tina. 'No One Knows That You’re Lost' is a collection of songs written over a stretch of time - saved up and finally captured here in just the right way. They are songs about small things. Sometimes serious, sometimes observing the world with humour and sometimes from a skewed angle. Songs like ‘Told’ and ‘Upside Down Clouds’ explore growing and learning new things as you get older. ‘Alaska’ longs for the familiar quietness of nature that she grew up with and ‘City City’ and ‘The Heart Wants Its Way’ is an ode to her love of the big city.