Today we have four reviews linked by that wonderful word – psychedelic. Some have been out for a little while but really shouldn’t be allowed to slip below the surface without given a listen and a little exploration. All are highly recommended.
Barr – Skogsbo Is The Place
This seven track gem found its way out of Sweden at the end of last year. Barr’s debut album Skogsbo Is The Place is largely based on soft sixties, acoustic folk in the style of a modern day Fairport Convention or Pentangle.
To give it that extra texture the seven piece band Barr have added a mellow, psychedelic freedom which works wonderfully well throughout. Barr in Swedish means ‘pine needle’ however, there is nothing sharp or spiky about the band who radiate a smoothness across excellent acoustic guitar playing and quality musicianship.
Settling themselves into a cabin in Skogsbo, the band recorded the album in just two days and nights. They explain, that ‘everything you hear on this record is made as one session’. The cabin, and its previous occupant, clearly created an inspirational atmosphere that the band grew into.
Opening with the gorgeous sixties vibe that is “Summerwind” Barr sound like a band born in the wrong era. “Words Would Do” is a fine track, melted down to an acoustic, harmonized summer day song.
“He Ain’t A Friend, He’s A Brother” has quality acoustic guitar playing that it is vaguely reminiscent of the band America. Patrik Andersson adds a gorgeous twelve string acoustic sound that enriches the whole album.
It is the sort of performance that has earned Barr support slots with Iron & Wine and Calexico. “Calling My Name” is a cool breeze of sadness featuring the lovely voice of Hanna Fritzson.
The wonderfully calming vibe of the title track and “Moonfall” also manage to transport you away from the worries of today’s chaos. The album ends with the excellent ten minute track “Sister – Lovers Alone” rich with harmony and acoustic bliss.
The additional sounds taken from the cabin tapes, recorded long ago by its previous owner and re-discovered by the band, provide the setting. Keep it running as the lovely “Lovers Alone” section appears. It’s a delightful end to a delightful album.