Josefin Öhrn and the liberation – 6th March 2017 – The Bullingdon
As well as firmly booting entertainment up the back end, Scandinavian Noir influencing a whole host of television and film we hold dear, there is also an unmistakable sound echoing out of the snowy fields and fjords of Sweden. Indeed the “Scandies” have always had a strong and succinct musical identity, creating desolate and tactile soundscapes which often don’t conform to Western Europe’s rich and vivid ideals. Öhrn is no different and happily flies the flag for her predecessors, creating music which although touching base with dream pop, noise rock and shoegaze, merely flirts with genres and never allows itself to become typecast or pigeonholed. She joins us with her Liberation after recently pushing Mirage, their magisterial accomplishment, out into the ether last year.
Now the album itself is a real pleasure, subtle strokes of light in a mire of quiet discontent, and Öhrn is right to be very proud of the achievement. However, the live sound they create, nay, the live experience they generate is simply breathtaking. The layers seem somehow deeper and in greater abundance than the record, a bass line comes to life through the throng of musical wizardry making one wonder how on earth it was overlooked on the record. Ohrn’s voice is delicate but earthy, creating a somehow pagan sense of magic and spirituality and her compositions breathe as naturally as any living fauna, their sentient consciousness flowing through every soul in The Bullingdon.
It is a wholly enriching and affirming evenings entertainment, added to only by the incredible use of projections onto white sheet at the back of the venue. With almost cult like hypnosis, the pulsing, searching demeanour of the music refuses to dissipate and the visuals remove the need to focus on anything other than the performance and the mediative timbre of the evening.
When, at the end of a show, there is a feeling of cleansing, of mindful contemplation and of quiet elation, it is a truly wonderful and beautiful thing. The cadence and feel of the music asks for acceptance without ever taking hostages and with uncertain times niggling away in the collective consciousness at present, any liberation is certainly much cherished.