I consider Blod's Pilgrimssanger LP to be one of the most overlooked records of 2022, a Christian Swedish folk exercise that perhaps because of its thematic focus, might have alienated the more secular amongst us. A shame if that's the case, because it was a smartly conceived set that hid some darker questions amidst some disarmingly pretty arrangements. The good news is that we get a second go at it with Dar Ska Barnet Vara, what you might consider a companion piece of sorts. Given the subject matter, it's fitting that there's again a communal aspect on show here, Gustaf Dicksson employing the services of fellow Discreet luminaries Anna Johannesson, Magnus Javerling, and probably most excitingly for regular readers, our beloved Astrid Oster Mortensen. Indeed, the latter really shines through, providing vocals for two early stand out tracks, and it's great to hear her sing on what are relatively earnest, direct songs. Mortensen is as great a communicator as she is abstract composer. The production - or is it just recording style? - is also a little wonkier than on Pilgrimssanger (if i have a criticism of that record it is that it was very clean sounding), a touch more 'lo-fi' if you like and in that sense harkens back to some of those earlier Blod recordings or even the second Treasury of Puppies LP, which makes for a set of avant hippie cult spirituals that could just as easily be ushering the listener towards the void as they could be promising heavenly release, like Shirley Collins recording for Siltbreeze. Now there's a thought. And you know what, i'd argue this one's superior to Pilgrimssanger.