Somewhere in the woods of Smaland, Sweden, Gustav Ejstes toiled away his days working his mother’s farm and his nights brewing a mix of Swedish folk, jazz, hip-hop and classic 60′s pop and rock. From the distillery of these influences came Dungen, Ejstes’s band and its remarkable third album Ta Det Lugnt.
You’ll find yourself singing along to many of the tracks on Ta Det Lugnt (“Take it Easy” in English), even though the words are in Swedish. The melodies, bearing the touches of Lennon/McCartney, are just too damn catchy. But these are not just simplistic pop ditties; there’s an intensity of energy and musical expression here that is absolutely captivating. Throughout Ta Det Lugnt, Dungen prove they are experts at crafting perfect pop songs built purely to be deconstructed into beautiful chaos.
Take the tracks “Festival” and “Du E FÖr Fin FÖr Mig” for example. Starting with pattering drums, lulling guitars and sing-song vocals, “Festival” unexpectedly bursts into a mesmerizing wash of pianos, flute, and howling vocals. “Du E FÖr…”, first grabs you with a breathtaking flute solo and then twists into a rave-up worthy of Hendrix. Miraculous passages like these abound throughout the album’s 13 songs.
If you hear a more diverse, haunting, and down-right hummable album this year, I’ll be very surprised. Dungen is the name to remember, if not to pronounce correctly.
Visit Jason’s site