I don’t know what the Swedes put in their water but it is currently producing some of the most interesting and exceptionally creative sounds in psychedelic music. On the latest release by Swedish collective Flowers Must Die the group find a headier and more progressive sound, cementing themselves as one of the most interesting psych outfits around today.
The new 4 track EP, released on UK label Rocket Recordings, follows a string of acclaimed LPs and Eps, and on their latest the band have added vocalist and violinist Lisa Ekelund. This brings the group from 5 to 6 members, and what is recorded on the EP is a collection of ‘jams’ that they put together during these early sessions. ‘Jam’ is a very loose term though, because what is on this EP is a tight, extremely visceral sound. The new direction is different from their previous recordings, but the addition of a vocalist only creates a broader sound and one that is on the outskirts of their more classically psychedelic releases previous.
The opening track ‘Sista Valsen’ is a droning, chanting, fire-cracker. The track grows and expands, being driven by heavy tribal drums and layered with a myriad of instruments. However it is Ekelund’s passionate but growling singing that really sets this track apart. ‘Taskig Stämning Annars’ might be my favourite track, and it is the one I have come back to the most, it’s a perfect exploration of the sound that the band is aiming for. The track is slow but expansive, a spacey psyche experiment that sees the groove of the song being pulled along by exceptional playing and discreet distorted vocals.
‘Varför’ and ‘Kruta’ are the tracks that explore the drone quality of Flowers Must Die’s music to its fullest potential. ‘Kruta’ being a heavier, more aggressive sound, and one that actually fits in quite nicely within the more stretched out soundscapes of the previous tracks. ‘Varför’ is a perfect finish to the EP, with a slower and melodic folk sound, but still layered with dense drone and thick drums.
This EP only contains four tracks but on each one the band explore the sonic reaches of rock, producing a genuinely rich and textured release that raises the bar very high for psychedelia.