Archives for posts with tag: Death And Vanilla

Death and VanillaIt rains almost as much in Malmö, Sweden as it does in Dunedin, NZ, so let’s brighten a rainy grey Psychedelic Sunday in Dunedin NZ with the eerie atmospheric psychedelia of Death & Vanilla and “A Flaw in the Iris”:

“A Flaw in the Iris” is from the album “Are You A Dreamer?” released mid 2019 on Fire Records. Death & Vanilla are Marleen Nilsson, Magnus Bodin and Anders Hansson, and this album seems a lot less wilfully old-fashioned sounding than earlier Death & Vanilla recordings.  Lines between past, present and future are blurred, their  reverb-heavy dreampop given some psychedelic soul and a cosmiche music heart of gently motorik hypnotic beats.


josefinohrnandtheliberationPsychedelic Sunday takes us to Sweden and the music of Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation

Sweden is well known for its production line of great bands covering all shades of music from pop to rock and beyond. In the ‘beyond’ category Sweden has blessed us with psych-proggers Dungen, the world+psch (con)fusion of Goat and the retro-psych soundtrack music of Death and Vanilla.

The music of Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation is more straightforward (sort of) heavy psych with a bit of motorik ‘Krautrock’ blended in (check out the epic 6 minute closing track “Imagine You”). The album “Mirage” covers a fair range of styles while remaining a satisfying mix of accessible melodicism and more experimental psych-rock.

“Where I’m Going” here is beautifully paisley-esque in its psych-pop goodness. The ending even mixes a bit of Syd era Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive” with it’s Brian Jonestown Massacre-flavoured jangling psychedelia.

Josefin Öhrn’s vocals are a distinctive feature of the sound of the album. Her subdued, almost whispered vocal help draw the listener into this ‘head-music’. It’s a vocal style that reminds me of the haunting music of the fabulous Samara Lubelski.

Here’s another song from the album in video form – “Rushing Through My Mind”




Steady Holiday Bandcamp“Under the Influence” is the title track of the first album by Steady Holiday. It’s an intoxicating introduction to the album and to the Los Angeles based artist – songwriter, vocalist and musician – behind the Steady Holiday name.

Steady Holiday is Dre Babinski and friends. The music of Steady Holiday is an alluring blend of almost film-noir exotica and smooth European pop. Fans of the likes of Death And Vanilla will feel at home in the album’s rich and dark atmospheric soundscape.

Dre’s voice has a restrained and natural gentle delivery and the understated affirmation of intriguing personal lyrics gives the song and the rest of the album an intimate feel. It’s a voice that sometimes reminds me of Charlotte Gainsbourg during this track and others on the album.

The voice is the perfect match for the music which is crammed with atmospheric dream-pop elements, sounding both modern and also from an indeterminate era in some half-imagined past which may  or may not have been real, a film, or a dream.

The album “Under the Influence” is out on 24 June. Were it not for the eye-watering huge cost of postage from the US, PopLib would be ordering a copy of the LP forthwith. While this would be lovely on vinyl a download purchase will have to suffice. For the time being…

Steady Holiday


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“California Owls” is the introductory track to capture your attention for the upcoming Death And Vanilla album “To Where The Wild Things Are”, released on Fire Records in May 2015.

It’s a splendidly haunting slice of retro-futurist space-pop from this Swedish trio, coming across as a weird deep space synth-drenched infusion of the yearning spirit of The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” with the hyper-saturated grandeur of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever”. And, if you’ll believe the press release, all recorded by the band themselves in their rehearsal space, using just one old Sennheiser microphone which they bought at a flea market for spare change.

Comparisons with the likes of Broadcast and Stereolab are inevitable but only part of the charm here. While it is likely any fans of those two bands will be at home with Death and Vanilla, they have marked out their own peculiar territory of spectral pop filtered through analogue circuitry and sprinkled with space dust.

Their previous albums and singles released on small Scandinavian labels have all been impeccably designed and as beautiful, timeless and cryptic to behold as they are to hear. It looks like this attention to detail will continue with their signing to Fire Records.

Death and vanilla

I don’t know much about Death And Vanilla. But I do know I love everything I’ve heard from them. They fly beneath the radar and appear to want it that way. Their records (lovely vinyl with stylish design aesthetic) are released in small runs (< 500) and sold via their label's Bandcamp page or discerning stores like Norman Records (UK) and Aquarius Records (US). They sell out very quickly. Here's what I know, or at least believe to be the case: they are from Malmo, Sweden. They may or may not be a duo.

Their first EP has recently been re-issued. You can listen to it here:

Anyone familiar with Broadcast and even early Stereolab will find some familiarity here. There's a shared love of 1960s film soundtracks and incidental music, retro-futurism, instrumental psychedelia, analogue synths and other old instruments. Their whole catalogue is a hugely satisfying listen, so this song and this EP is only really a starting point for your discovery.

Death And Vanilla – Ghosts In The Machine from Death And Vanilla on Vimeo.