From the opening waves and synthetic hums of Horse Dance, Josefin Öhrn’s delicate whisper slices gently through like a voice of reason in a chaotic mind. It’s no wonder she describes her journey to this as “drift[ing] into music, spending more and more time alone in huge cities and out by the ocean”. The expansiveness, the sound of the swarming metropolis, and one loan voice trying to be heard. With this album, Ohrn and her band The Liberation try to make sense of the urban condition.
Clever use of song titles lull you into a false sense of security then expose a harsh reality as opposed to the usual romantic tendencies they’d lend themselves to in songwriting. ‘Sunny Afternoon’ isn’t gentle or pleasant; it’s a rampant, ecstatic sprawl. Sanity is in fact a repetitive mantra Ohrn may be performing purely to keep herself from going crosseyed. The albums title track sounds like it’s being sung down a telephone with bad reception. ‘You Have Arrived’ slowly and delicately unfolds to the heavy pulse of a beating heart. A subtle “mind the gap” would not sound out of place here. This is music that is very literal, very layered and beautifully executed.
The outfit describe themselves as “krautrock and psychedelia with a Nordic-pop leaning”. Expect to hear dreamy guitar solos that seamlessly mutate into harsh walls of sound, liberal lashings of synth and sugary catchy vocal hooks. They’ve already been nominated for a Swedish Grammy cementing the love from the old country. For me, they totally capture the mood of now; sitting just the right side of a panic attack, perfectly bottled nervous tension. Do try, you won’t be disappointed.