Minneapolis’ Colby Hansen releases genre-bending LP

Following her 2019 EP, Colby Hansen is back with eight new songs that groove hard and flow smooth.

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Parker Johnson

Colby Hansen poses for a portrait on the University of Minnesota Campus on Thursday, April 22. Hansen is a musician who just released her long anticipated album, “For me it was nice getting the final product out to the world, after spending this past year on it.”

Frankie Carlson

Combining genres of indie-pop, neo-soul, hip-hop, techno and so much more, Colby Hansen’s new full length album, “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” is exactly that. The Minnesota-born musician’s eclectic influences shine across the entire tracklist.

Officially released April 7 but made available on streaming platforms April 18, the project runs just over 23 minutes in length.

Hansen recorded all of her parts for the project in her bedroom. She went in with a vision to create an album featuring a wide array of genres that also showcased the talents of her musical friends. Made with collaboration in mind, the album is packed with featured instrumentalists and vocalists.

“It was a really fun time because I was able to reach out to so many artists that otherwise I probably wouldn’t have even thought of reaching out to,” Hansen said. “That really is what the album is, just a big melting pot of genres and styles from a lot of my friends and myself.”

From one song to the next, each track offers a new style and texture while maintaining a cohesive tone for the overall project.

One moment you’re head bobbing to the funky groove and hook of the chill hop banger, “Drifting,” and in the next you’re tapping your foot to the smooth synths and floating guitars of the indie-pop track “15 Again.” With each of the eight songs offering something new, “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” is one that you start over as soon as it’s done to catch what you missed.

Hansen began work on the project at the start of the pandemic, and ended up recording, producing and mixing a majority of the parts and songs herself. A jack-of-all-trades, Hansen shows off her chops on guitar, vocals, drums and even on the oud, a fretless Middle Eastern string instrument. Her skills as a musician, however, stand out most clearly on her primary weapon of choice, bass.

Having studied jazz bass performance at Portland State University, Hansen’s low-end grooves, flavorful tone and crunchy licks are standouts on a project already chock full of fantastic sounds.

Hansen started out on drums at 8 years old, eventually gravitating toward the bass, intrigued by the role that a bass could play in the sonic landscape.

“A big reason was just because I wanted to learn an instrument that had more melody and harmony built into it,” Hansen said. “I love the low end, and it really is like the foundation of dancing and dance music, I realized as I’ve gotten older. It really just moves your body in a different way than the rest.”

Friend and featured artist on the album, Jacob Jarchow aka Jarx, champions Hansen’s approach to her music and her work on this album.

“This [album] really reflects Colby as an artist just because it shows all of her influences, with all the different genres,” Jarchow said. “It really shows that she has a wide range as an artist. She’s definitely getting into her stride in terms of becoming a producer and is definitely improving a lot with this album.”

Much of the sound on “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” was inspired by Hansen’s current musical influences.

Indie acts like Men I Trust, electronic artists like Chris Lake and neo-soul performers like Erykah Badu, and so many more have all influenced Colby’s taste, and as a result, her music.

Local rapper Devin Barksdale aka Devinci, who also released an album in 2021, offers a sublime verse on the track “Drifting.” Barksdale admires Colby’s versatility and hopes to work with her again.

“The proof is in the pudding, I feel like, when you listen to Colby’s music,” he said. “Very rarely are you going to say, this is a specific type of genre that she’s doing. Just because she’s kind of in her own wave doing her own thing.”