On the road med album nummer två, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation were leaving phosphorescent trails though Birmingham as they finished a UK tour promoting their latest album, Mirage. Always good to catch the tail end of a rainbow.
And whilst our ‘man in Havana’ was struck down by a particularly virulent strain of man flu, Rob Hadley was there to capture the kaleidoscope show for THE GALLERY. But if a picture paints a thousand words… fate may have dodged an editorial bullet that night.
For as the self described ‘alchemical sky gazing’ ensemble proudly declare with their sophomore LP, Mirage ‘sees the band sculpting sprawling, hypnotic jams into elegant nocturnal serenades with such serendipity that their actual creation remains a little hazy even to themselves.’ Well that’s good to know. Where’s my thesaurus..?
Playing gigs from Brighton to Glasgow, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation have been in the UK since the end of Feb – including a return to Liverpool, where the band were amongst the top bill for the city’s International Festival of Psychedelia last year. Not really relative to their Birmingham gig but citing this booking should divert the need for a load of garrulous comparisons. Alright, you can have one – Mazzy Star meets Swervedriver.
Relatively fresh faced Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation released their first LP, Horse Dance, in 2015 though the Stockholm based Gone Beyond Records, and Rocket Records – the UK based label home of Goat, Teeth of the Sea and Gnoomes. A brooding and driven eight track landscape, with subverted rock powering some ethereal yet commanding vocals, this uncompromising album was both a darker side step from their previous EPs and something to notice. A bit like Mazzy Star meets Swerve… ibid, your honour.
Self described as marking ‘out a territory in which beguiling repetition could sashay with sweet pop suss, melodic flourishes with experimental intensity,’ (a line I wish I had written) Horse Dance gained Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation a solid left of centre fan base and respectable industry interest. Roskilde followed, as did a string of dates across the UK supporting label mates, Goat.
Now back on the road with a new album, Mirage, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation’s sophomore LP is similar but a step up from their visceral debut – bringing the same twisted metal intensity and spirit guide vocals, but with a touch more digital than analogue. So Mazzy Star meets Swervedriver, remixed by Underworld. Or to once again cherry pick from the band’s own biog: ‘…the seductive splendour of these ten songs make manifest a parallel world of disorientation and deliverance in which one would be a fool not to want to languish adrift.’ Lovely.
But one sense (or song) is seldom enough, so have a stop, look, listen to this double album track sandwich from Mirage.
‘In Madrid / Rainbow Lollipop’ / Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation
Josefin Öhrn + The Liberationperform at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) on Tuesday 7th March, as presented This Is Tmrw. For direct gig info and online tickets sales, click here.