IN THE ZONEPART 1
During the past few years, psychedelic music has been having a revival all over the world. The sound has grown modern with time, making it less retro and more timeless. Josefin Öhrn and Fredrik Joelson make psychedelic music together as Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation, a band that has played mostly in Europe, including the UK.
Joelson, who is wearing a striking green parka when we meet, describes what the band members have in common and the way psychedelia opens up the realm of thought: “We don’t really live within mainstream laws for how you’re supposed to exist in a social system at the moment. What Josefin and I share is that we are in a condition that is constantly dreamlike. The psychedelic boom for me is about living not only in the visible world – the inner reality and invisible aspects are as concrete as anything else.” “It’s from there you get your ideas, musical visions and lyrics,” says Öhrn, agreeing with Joelson’s view of the world. Joelson is very outspoken and eloquent, whereas Öhrn is more thoughtful and reflective. She sees two sides to the psych wave: one being that the boom is a passing hype; the other that the music may turn into a genre of its own.
According to Joelson, psychedelia has grown hugely popular in Europe and the UK and he speculates about why this is the case: “I take it as a sign of people having had enough of the conventional form of materialism. We have come to a point where we can’t arrange our lives exclusively in relation to possessions and material aspects any more. We have to get in contact with our inner selves and that is what the psychedelic is all about – there is a different form of storytelling that isn’t linear.”
The visual effects are a vital part of Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation’s live performances. Their monotone, almost krautrock-like psychedelic sound is brought to another dimension by mind-expanding light shows. Among others, they have worked with light engineer Marcus Karlsson and projectionist Inner Strings, using visually outstanding artistry to create a separate world to step into.
Öhrn also tries to connect clothing with the visual big picture that is a concert experience, which Joelson sees as connecting your inner self with the way you look. When speaking of what she wore for the Whyred shoot for The Forumist, she says she could identify with the garments. “They were things I could wear on stage – it felt like me.” The quite psychedelic Whyred looks would all fit in perfectly in the visual world formed during a Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation concert.
Listen to Josefins playlist