Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation - Horse Dance

by Mark Steele Rating:9 Release Date:2015-11-11

This sultry siren and her grand troupe of experimentalists hailing from Stockholm cleverly blend Krautrock, experimental synth pop, 1960s garage psychedelia, trip hop cinematic tension, and stoner rock leanings. Josefin and company’s lineup is Josefin Öhrn (vocals, guitar, synths), Fredrik Joelson (guitars, vocals), Christopher Cantillo (drums), Victor Hvidfeldt (bass, guitar, vocals), and Calle Olsson (synths, vocals). They spoiled us last year with the ‘Psychedelicatassen’ experience, the Diamond Waves EP, which served up mouth-watering appetisers like ‘Anything So Bright’ and ‘Free’, flowing with wonderful colours and flavours.

Following that recording, there's obvious opportunity to ask if we are currently experiencing a Psychedelic revival as witnessed in a spate of many bands in the last few years imprinting their own recognisable brands in the genre.

Here Horse Dance, is truly an apt album title allowing 8 songs to be 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. 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 to unleash a menacing synth repetitive creeper then Bam!, Gear change into 60's Garage Rock 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.

You will notice the varied instrumental and vocal textures 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, Progressive Rock shunter intermittently sprinkled with Josefin's Portishead’s Beth Gibbons inspired Cajun ramblings.

Space 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, and 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 full length debut album that opens many inter-dimensional portals. Psychedelia has a new visionary Stoner Queen and she shall hopefully lead The Liberation into many unchartered territories with their subsequent offerings.

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