Best of Year 2019 - exclusive limited edition print free with each album purchase (see photos)*
The evidence is undeniable now - something is stirring in Sweden. Be it Kali Malone, Amateur Hour, Post23, Monokultur, anything on Forlag Fur Fri Muzik or I Dischi Del Barone, there seems to be a near-endless stream of seemingly straight-out-of-nowhere brilliance stemming from those Nordic shores. Music not afraid to be obtuse, to change shape and come at odd angles, to ask a little extra of the listener.
And now we have Levande Död, also Swedish, I think from Gothenburg, whom i know very little else about. Their shadowy nature seems consistent with a lot of their compatriots - maybe it’s the language barrier, maybe it’s a conscious desire to ex-communicate from the traditional mechanisms of the ‘Music Industry’, maybe it’s simply an issue of location, but it’s hard to fully get at all of this music, to easily understand its origin and intent. Such mystery is to be celebrated, but don’t be mistaken, Levande Död make open, ecstatic, and welcoming music that clearly wants to be heard. Though I’ve no idea what is being sung about, there’s no doubt these songs are being sung within an inch of their lives.
I was immediately reminded of the intense testifying of a young Black Francis, and then after a few more listens, David Thomas. There’s that same mutant suburban garage band isolationism, of shrieking in the dark regardless of who is listening but demanding someone does. Wondrous and eternal in its desire. If I find out this is a group of forty-somethings I won’t say I won’t be disappointed, but I’ll carry on listening regardless. Music to put your faith in and be faithful to.
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