This Josefin Öhrn and The Liberation article was written by Mark Steele, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Ben Kendall.
Lavished upon us earlier in 2014, was the psychotropic taster ‘Diamond Waves’ EP, which gave us sparkled gemstones like ‘Anything So Bright’ and ‘Free’, which glimmered with wonderful colours and tones. Following that recording, it seemed as though a psychedelic revival would be looming, as perceived in an influx of many bands in the last few years, stamping their brands into our consciousness and rejuvenating the genre. The group have also supported Goat and Les Big Byrd back in their homeland.
The mind-bending experimentalists from Stockholm, cleverly blend: krautrock, experimental synthpop, 1960’s garage psychedelia, trip-hop cinematic tension, and stoner rock leanings. Josefin and The Liberation’s line-up is: Josefin Öhrn – vocals, guitar and synths, Fredrik Joelson – guitars and vocals, Christopher Cantillo – drums, Victor Hvidfeldt – bass, guitar and vocals and Calle Olsson – synths and vocals.
Here with ‘Horse Dance’, truly an apt album title, has eight songs unleashed like mystical wild horses breaking through, leading a cosmic carriage onto the vast unfolding expanse, and the only equestrian whispering coachman in town is Josefin herself. This is a momentous journey and invites listeners to hop aboard, hold on, and keep up with the pace.
Opener ’Dunes’ arrives with an engine start, unleashing a menacing synth repetitive creeper then Bam! Gear change into garage guitar gallop, leading into pacing bass and drum desert drive. Also fellow road tripper ’Sunny Afternoon’, is pounding 60’s garage rock meets a glam rocking vocal harmonic imaginarium.
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You will notice the varied instrumental and vocal textures tones employed are uniquely apparent on many tracks. The nervy ’Sanity’ shows a swiftly moving drum and synth rally, momentarily injected with raspy synth and contorted guitar; although suddenly this is brought to a halt, followed by a swift giggle from Josefin. Enchanting meta-mantra ‘You Have Arrived’, induces a slumber for a brief stop off.
We then awaken to mellow jangly guitar coaster ‘Take Me Beyond’, spaciously breathing, which continues to maintain the album’s consistent thumping tempo. The leading galloper ’Horse Dance’, builds upon a synth driving Hawkwind meets Goldfrapp prog-rock shunter, intermittently sprinkled with Portishead’s Beth Gibbons inspired Cajun ramblings.
Cosmic disco groover, ‘Green Blue Fields’, reveals a canvas of damp fuzz guitar, various string/keys interjections over a four to the floor loop, allowing Josefin’s breathy observations to gracefully float over Neptune’s oceanic surface. Equally interstellar, is final voyager ’Talk’, cruising amongst the stars, sculpted by tom-toms, woody bass, clingy keys and stingy fuzz guitar renderings.
An impressive visionary full length debut album, that opens many inter dimensional gateways. The offerings brought forth, by this newly crowned stoner majesty and her faithful subjects will be sparklingly multifaceted indeed.
‘Horse Dance’ is out now via Rocket Recordings.