Josefin Öhrn: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Josefin Öhrn: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Though somewhat new to the scene, Swedish psych-rock outfit Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation are already making a name for themselves for their hypnotic jams and swirling nocturnal serenades.

Taking their moniker from the notion of “Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between” from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation took little time to make their mark on the wider world, brandishing a radiant sound that stands effortlessly apart from the increasingly staid and often paradoxically predictable world of modern psychedelia.

Having already been nominated for a Swedish Grammy for their debut EP, Diamond Waves, their 2015 full-length debut, Horse Dance, marked out a territory in which beguiling repetition could sashay with sweet pop suss, melodic flourishes with experimental intensity, and it was summarily rapturously received on arrival, earning them new fans while conquering the European festival circuit.

Yet clearly this was only the beginning of a journey of discovery, and few would have guessed how the band’s sound would quickly evolve into still more enchanting and enlightening strains. Their second effort Mirage, follows a mere year after its predecessor, marking a heavenly and hazy sophomore effort from a band with their best work ahead. Listen to Mirage today, available exclusively on TIDAL all this week.

In light of this release, we sat down with bandleader Josefin Öhrn and talked about five albums that influenced her life and music.

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Nico: Desertshore

The first time I heard this album was an intense experience. I was completely mesmerized and transported to another dimension that has remained with me ever since. Her melodies and lyrics are like something from an ancient tale, pure poetry and magic beyond convention, beyond good and evil.  Released in 1970 and co-produced by John Cale and Joe Boyd, John Cale’s unique soul footprint is all over it. The cover features a photo from the film La Cicatrice Interieure by Philippe Garrel, which Nico and her son Ari starred in.

Brian Eno & David Byrne: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

When I think of these albums now, it’s all about how they feel when I listen to them in my head. I’ve never read the book that bears the same title as this album, but apparently it’s about wandering off and disappearing into the wilderness and that’s exactly how this album feels to me. It’s eerie how it never seems dated. My Life In The Bush of Ghosts very much resembles how I perceive the world during periods of transition, which seems to be most of the time. This album too seems to signal a schizophrenic near future that doesn’t resemble anything that’s come before.

David Bowie: Station to Station

Station to Station to me is like a dreamlike bridge leading into and signaling an imminent future beyond recognition, where physical laws as well as change itself would be altered ant accelerated into completely new territory. Recorded in L.A. in just over a week, it’s like a feverish glimpse into the memory an exiled European stranded in another era completely and remembers cold Europe with a mind that is not entirely his own, like the space man in the “Ashes to Ashes” video. This album is contradictory and hysterical, yet has an otherworldly ease to it. It’s like a very hi-tech direct glimpse into his cosmic mind.

Spiritualized: Lazer Guided Melodies

I love the meandering and seemingly aimless wandering feeling of this album, with songs like “Step Into The Breeze,” “Angel Sigh” and “Smiles,” the latter being one of my favorite tracks ever.  I remember it as more chaotic and unstructured than it is, the sonic layering, lyrical content and sequencing of this album and the fact that I’ve heard it so much makes it feel like a month long lost weekend where my inner darkness was laid bare with all the pain and bliss that entails. It’s intensely urban but also pastoral to me.

Catherine Ribeiro + 2Bis: Catherine Ribeiro + 2Bis

Released 1969. The vocals and lyrics by the French-Portuguese singer Catherine Ribeiro. Her voice is breathtaking, like a psychedelic Edith Piaf. I found this album in a record store in Lisbon. When I first heard this it expanded my view on music and what music can be and also what rock can be. It was so colorful and creative. It has a lot of space elements and Philippe Moullet used an instrument he built on his own, called the Cosmophone.

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