Josefin Ohrn & The Liberation make genuinely deep psychedelia that takes the listener on a journey to another place entirely. Horse Dance is their first full length album which follows on from their Diamond Waves EP. The band are signed to Rocket Recordings - the label which has overseen the rise of fabulous Swedish contemporaries Goat and Les Big Byrd.
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I fear Josefin Ohrn and the Liberation may have the same high-minded ideas about revitalising psychedelic music as everyone else who makes psychedelic music, but that doesn’t stop their newest record, ‘Horse Dance’, from fitting the genre’s standard mould very nicely. The Krautrock synth figures that begin the record’s hypnotising orbit are scoped out nicely with repeating guitars and extra synth additives, each part cosied with a rhythm that’s not too fast -- the kind you could race up an escalator while you took the stairs. As the record continues, Ohrn seem genuinely interested in diversifying the mood of her pieces, with the urgent sirened sounds of “Sunny Afternoon” coupled with a steady march-beat and a precisely detailed story.
If there’s a difference in this album from its many thousand genre siblings, it’s that it sounds like Ohrn sat down and thought it through, rather than leaving jams up to chance -- as such, “Sunny Afternoon” sounds like a fleshed out song (as if those still exist) with abrupt stops and gorgeous piano flourishes. “You Have Arrived” takes its time to lock in, its old-school, Casio-sounding keys and leaky beats seeking out the kind of psychedelia Phil Collins might make (he’s in the process of a comeback, right? Make it happen); you don’t feel numbed listening to this track, but rather interested in how it’s going to unfold, as if a crescendo is as much a possibility as a long psychedelic con.
Ohrn and co have made something real nice here, and they’ve favoured good music over a rigid aesthetic; if they want to reroute back into proper psych jams, they will, as on “Take Me Beyond”, which uses its rhythm section to sound kinda kosmische, plus a gorgeous summer breeze in its guitar that brings to mind the National’s “Humiliation”. There’s a lot to love here, not least the fact that these folk give a shit about doing their favourite genre justice.
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- Horse Dance by Josefin Ohrn + The Liberation
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