Photo by Jason Larkin

“There’s an undeniable aura of confidence emanating from his guitar work and a poetic sensibility in what he chooses to play that fills the music with ghostly melancholy.” ~ Joshua Stryde, Indiemunity

Thomas Nordlund is a guitarist and composer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a lyrical guitarist whose command of the instrument allows him to shape vivid musical terrain with only a handful of notes. His compositions stretch from being insular to accessible and unfold like narrative observations of the world around him.

Nordlund released his second album as a bandleader and producer, “Miles Left Behind,” May 7, 2018 on Shifting Paradigm Records. Tracked in a single four-hour session with his quartet featuring Ben Abrahamson (banjo), Doan Roessler (bass), and Zach Schmidt (drums), “Miles Left Behind” picks up where his debut “Divide Avenue” left off, extending ideas about lyrical melody and non-standard form. It also contains elements of atmospheric sound design, processed from the sampled harmonics, open strings, and other noises of his guitars.

Previously, he collaborated with singer Maryam Yusefzadeh on arrangements of traditional Persian folk songs and new compositions, independently released as “Migration” on Feb 15, 2018. His debut record “Divide Avenue,” an instrumental eight-song set featuring the electric baritone guitar, was released independently in 2015.

Nordlund holds a B.A. in guitar performance from the University of Minnesota-Morris, a Certificate in Jazz Studies from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and completed the Sound Design Program with James Patrick at Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

He is an active sideman with Sarah Morris and Chris Bates’ RED 5, and has performed or recorded with Mary Bragg, Dead Man Winter, Kid DakotaMoon and PollutionTim SparksRoger ManinsThe Adam Meckler OrchestraThe Jana Nyberg Group, and the Katha Dance Company, among many others.

Nordlund’s intensely lyrical guitar appeals to the imagination.
— Cyrus Rhodes, No Depression
Nordlund’s musical acumen and imagination are off the charts.
— David Shouse, Gashouse Radio
Thomas Nordlund is musician as magician, a playing talent capable of fleshing out entire landscapes with only a few notes.
— Lydia Hillenburg, Skope Magazine
This is an American musician who brings a good sense of what audiences want, his own ambitions, and musical facility to his work and manages to balance those competing elements better than most.
— Pamela Bellmore, Indie Artists Alliance