Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation - Sacred Dreams
31 / January / 2019
London-based psychedelic stalwarts Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation will release their third album in April via premiere label Rocket Recordings. Continuing to dive into the deeper waters of experimentation, ‘Sacred Dreams’ is both a musically hefty amalgamation of reverb drenched space-rock and retro centric electronics, as well as an emotionally cathartic release for the band, marking a new direction and fresh approach.
The band have seen a dramatic rise to prominence since the release of their debut EP ‘Diamond Waves in 2014, which initially led to prominent shows in their homeland, a nomination for a Swedish Grammy as best newcomer and a rapturously received appearance at Roskilde.
Debut album ‘Horse Dance’ was a razor-sharp collection of songs that married dreamlike radiance with hypnotic rhythmic drive - a realm in which a propulsive ‘60s-tinged pop song could be elevated skyward with krautrock-tinged repetition. Their second album ‘Mirage’ proved an even more captivating journey, with infectious songcraft elucidated by a prismatic experimental glow, and influences as diverse as Kandinsky’s abstract expressions of synaesthesia and the avant-jazz of Moondog coalescing into seductive melody and motorik magnificence - perhaps most potently on the uplifting shimmer of ‘Rushing Through My Mind’. It was jubilantly received across UK Radio’s BBC6 Music, climaxing in a Lauren Laverne BBC6 Live session and playlist spots, a full European tour with fellow Swedes Goat, appearances at Glastonbury and Blue Dot Festivals and a sold-out UK headline tour. The album also won the band the prestigious 'Composer of the Year’ award at the Manifest Music Awards in Sweden.
Since then Josefin and writing partner Fredrik have relocated from Stockholm to London and have created a new Liberation around them - this new band consists of the powerful and intuitive assemblage of musicians; Maki (Go Team), Patrick C Smith (Eskimo Chain), Matt Loft (Lola Colt) and Ben Ellis, who’s worked with both Iggy Pop and Swervedriver. ‘Sacred Dreams’ was largely recorded at Press Play studios (King Krule, Fat White Family, Yves Tumor, Stereolab, High Llamas and many others) run by Andy Ramsay of Stereolab, who also produced and even programmed his non synced drum machines adding a lot of inspiration to the album.
‘Scared Dreams’ invites you into the bands own dimensional soundscape, a world built with transcendental guitars, driving grooves and otherworldly, enchanting vocals, altogether seeped in layers of blissfully produced synths. Opener and lead single ‘Feel The Sun’ encapsulates this new direction perfectly before the anthemic ‘I Can Feel It’ makes the bands intentions known. Elsewhere playful 80s electronics sit alongside a shoegaze sensibility effortlessly and amongst the textured flow of the LP emerge pop hooks like the infectiously bluesy ‘Baby Come On’.
Josefin tells us “This album comes out of a period of heartbreak, loss and dissolution, but also of deep love, warmth and beauty unveiled in the middle of it. A sacred dream, the way we see it, is not necessarily a golden fluffy cloud river, but instead also contains all the shadows that need to be seen and felt in order to drop what has to go in order to truly live. And the dissonance of such a dream may not be immediately apparent, let alone the meaning of it. In a way all of these tracks seem to emanate from that place where we have almost reached a new shore, or maybe we missed it and are headed somewhere else entirely, but there’s no way of telling until afterwards.”
23 Feb / Brighton / Mutations Festival
23 Apr / Oxford / The Bullingdon
24 Apr / Leeds / The Brudenell Social Club
25 Apr / Manchester / The Deaf Institute
26 Apr / London / Islington Assembly Hall
27 Apr / Bristol / Thekla
30 Apr / Birmingham / Hare & Hounds
01 Mar / Liverpool / Jacaranda
02 Mar / Glasgow / Stereo
03 Mar / Newcastle / The Cluny
05 Mar / Leicester / Handmade Festival