Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO are they?
Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation is a Swedish band, fronted by Josefin Öhrn alongside Fredrik Joelson who heads up a collection of musicians called The Liberation. In the last twelve months, they have experienced a dramatic rise to prominence with their debut EP Diamond Waves leading to shows in their homeland with Goat and Les Big Byrd, a nomination for Best Newcomer at the Swedish Grammy and rapturously received appearances at festivals like Roskilde. Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation release their debut album Horse Dance on 6 November via Rocket Recordings.
Fredrik (guitars, vocals) is from 90’s NYC underground band Mouth, he’s done electronic music under the name Binger The Voyager and worked with artists such as Stina Nordenstam, Armand Mirpour. Calle Olsson (synthesizers) is from the krautrock band Paper. Victor Hvidfeldt (bass, guitar and vocals) has played with several artists and collaborations such as Sibille Attar, A nighthawk. Christoffer Cantillo (drums) has played with artists such as Anna von Hausswolff, Nils Berg Cinemascope, Musette.
Josefin (vocals, guitar, synths) talks us through the formation of the band. “When I got back to Stockholm from Paris, I went to art school and worked extra in a record store. I started to experiment more and more with sound and writing lyrics. So I recorded a demo and the owner of the store heard it. He was the former drummer of 90’s NYC underground band Mouth and he thought I should meet Fredrik Joelson. He was the front-man of Mouth. So we hooked up and started to make music together. This was 2011. And along the way we met these amazing musicians.”
WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“I think that what we’re doing is searching for experience of altering states. I think that from the monotonous groove of krautrock and with harmonies and melodies of skygazing and space you can find elements of powerful movement. I guess it’s a search for something transcendental. Energy that flows beyond the here and now.”
WHERE did they grow up?
“I grew up in Stockholm but I have family in Belgium and Paris so I was constantly going there spending summers and holidays there. Then as I teenager I lived in Paris for a while. It effected me a lot to experience and growing up with both the Nordic culture and the central European culture or French culture. They are such a contrasts to each other. Fredrik lived and worked in Madrid and New York and spent a lot of time in Nepal.”
“The music scene in Sweden (which has been our home for the last few years) is very small. Mainly cause there are so few people living in this waste and geographically quite big country. I think that the big change of light, the darkness in the winter can make you go inside of yourself and create. So, I mean, there are a lot of people doing interesting stuff but there aren’t many places to perform. So I wouldn’t say that there is a big scene.”
WHY ‘The Liberation’?
“The name ‘The Liberation’ is taken from the Tibetan Book of Death. The title is ‘Liberation Upon Hearing In The Between’ – it’s from the perspective of psychedelic music as a gateway to partial liberation from a materialistic state fixated on the ego and the visible world.”
WHEN can I see them live?
The band plays their first ever UK show at London’s Shacklewell Arms on 18 November. Tickets here.
Also, non-UK dates:
13th November: Linköping, Sweden
28th November at Geronimo’s Stockholm
10th December Babel Malmö Sweden
11th December Folk Gothenburg
Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation have been confirmed to play Eurosonic Noorderslag 2016
Watch the video for single Take Me Beyond released on Rocket Recordings on 30 October.