Reminds us of: Suicide, Nico, The Velvet Underground, Goldfrapp, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Spiritualised, Can, Stereolab, Broadcast, Mazzy Star
Links to tracks in blue
Since I started this blog in March 2019, I’ve vigorously used social media to promote the content. The aim has been to say nice things about people that make good music, and probably the most satisfying part of doing this comes when the artist acknowledges the post. The most appreciative people are without doubt all those associated with Rocket Recordings, which only makes me like them even more. Josefin Ohrn and the Liberation are part of the Rocket Recordings roster, originally from Sweden but now based in London, they make damn fine music, and from my interactions with them on social media they seem like very nice people too.
As is often the case with me, my first exposure to the band was via their latest album ‘Sacred Dreams’. Having been suitable impressed by what I heard, I was encouraged to steadily work my way through their back catalogue, which has been an enjoyable experience that I’d thoroughly recommend.
Latest album ‘Sacred Dreams’ was released in April this year, and kicks off with the track that I first heard of theirs Feel the Sun, a lovely bit of psychedelic pop. The album twists and turns through a variety of genres - from the Goldfrapp like electronica of I Can Feel It and Desire to Velvets style 60s pop like Hey Little Boy and ‘Caramel Head’ to the T-Rex glam of Baby Come On and the Suicide-esque Whatever You Want. It’s not perfect, and could probably have done with a couple of songs being left off, but it is none the less a very good album, and probably the most accessible of the three produced so far.
Far nearer to perfection are the previous two albums, Horse Dance and Mirage. The pick of these for me is Mirage, which starts with the excellent The State I'm In – all trippy organ and driving 60’s psych. Sister Green Eyes, follows, and then we get into Suicide territory with In Madrid and Rainbow Lollipop, with the latter building nicely over whispered vocals. Endless Ocean takes us into Nico and the Velvets/Spiritualised territory before we head off into the realms of Krautrock with Looking for You and Rushing Through My Mind and album closer Imagine You, with the experimental Circular Motion and psych pop Where I'm Going in between. I really can’t fault this album, it’s superb.
Debut album ‘Horse Dance’ was released in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim. The band use the mostly one chord drone effect well throughout, switching between the driving psych rock of Dunes, Green Blue Fields and Talk , and Krautrock like Sanity and Take Me Beyond interspersed with more experimental tracks like Horse Dance. Overall it’s an impressive listen, with the spirit of Alan Vega strong throughout. First EP Diamond Waves (including the excellent Free) is also well worth checking out, and by all accounts it won a Swedish Grammy.
What I like most about Josefin Ohrn and the Liberation is their ability to seamlessly blend such an array of impressive influences cohesively into their own particular style of music. Having recently played at Glastonbury, the band are touring throughout the UK in November, which should be a good opportunity to check them out live. In the meantime, I shall enjoy the music!