FRÄLST!: A Selection Of Swedish Christian Grooves (1969-1979)
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  • Post published:26/03/2022
  • Post last modified:26/03/2022

With a framework now shaped around the loosely defined Jesus People Music (and adjacent sounds), it’s fascinating to dig into similar relics from around the globe such as the remarkable new compilation, FRÄLST! – A Selection of Swedish Christian Grooves 1969-1979. A deep, heady dive into the sounds produced from Swedish Christian communities of the era, like many of its North American counterparts, the bulk of the material is sourced from the rarest archival, private press digging. Behind the release is the Stockholm-based label Subliminal Sounds, an outfit that has spent decades purveying Swedish psychedelia, from Dungen to legendary late 60s travelers, Pärson Sound.

At over sixty five minutes, the 2xLP comp is a remarkable faith-inspired trek. While a smattering of the tracks lean into an introspective, loner folk that one might anticipate, overall the set is distinctively electric and idealistic. Siw Sjoberg’s “Hallelujah” leads the charge, utilizing straightforward, worship-style harmonizing before launching into a sporadic, lengthy rhythm breakdown. And then there are the truly obtuse tracks, like “Tågung” by Humlans Funkykapell. Following a lengthy, fiddle-laced bluegrass introduction, the song transforms into a four minute jazz funk groove, and as the liner notes relay, wah-wah fuzz guitar is plentiful throughout.

Compiler Stefan Kéry notes that the ethos of this music (peace, community and locality) co-existed with similar qualities of the burgeoning (secular) underground Swedish progg movement, via the free flowing, organic psychedelia of artists like Träd, Gräs & Stenar. Further, the outward kinship of these songs to their spiritual subject matter is abundantly clear–even through the lens of a lyrical language barrier. One of the more exciting archival releases of the year to date, FRÄLST! is anything but predictable. | m neeley

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