Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation, Cherrystones @ Louisiana, Bristol, 03/03/2017

Josefin ÖhrnLiminality takes musical form with Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation. They’ve supported the likes of GOAT as well as Les Big Byrd and previously bagged themselves a nomination for a Swedish Grammy with their debut EP, Diamond Waves. The Swedish group are now touring their second album, Mirage, with a sell-out show at the Louisiana in Bristol tonight.

Cherrystones are the support act, the project of London-based DJ Gareth Goddard. The DJ set is an unusual one, with no one appearing on Louisiana’s stage at all. What remains, though, is a mind melting display of erratic colours and hypnotic patterns. The backdrop is almost a vibrant video gone wrong, with a fuzzy VHS rewind screen (if anyone remembers VHS).

The film reference is all the more relevant with Cherrystone’s reworking of classic cult film soundtracks blended into psychedelic offerings. The set certainly isn’t stale, dynamically melting into hip-hop and electronic music. There’s a real sense of spontaneity and fluidity, setting up the precedent for the headline act.

Opening with “The State (I’m in)”, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation kick start their performance with lingering vocals and rhythmic melodies. The psychedelic soundscape echoes around the packed out Louisiana, as more people try to squeeze in showcasing the popularity of their pure take on the otherworldly genre.

The transient nature of Mirage takes its true form in a live setting, with a similar mind twisting display to that of Cherrystones, projected onto the band themselves. Through the hazy blues and pinks of the lighting, they portray the dark temperament of Mirage with flowing movements and moody patterns.

Their set list is Mirage heavy, though they work some of their earlier tracks towards the end of their set. Single, “Rushing Through My Mind”, has a 90’s feel to it, reminiscent of Air or Zero7 with seductive transcendence. The track itself is reflective of the rush she references, in an almost hallucinogenic direction, taking the listener on a journey of reflection.

Josefin Öhrn herself appears lost in the expansiveness of the music they produce as she sways and flows around the stage. Her elusive stage presence is carried further through her echoic vocal adding to the intensity of their output, with flourishes of guitar and keyboard, cornered by the rhythmic drum.

The liminal quality of their ethos delivers an exciting performance, transcending space and time with an otherworldly premise. The brooding darkness and original psychedelia of Mirage is definitely one to see live.

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