Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Psychedelic Swedish Rock from Dungen

As I’ve said, I range far and wide looking for new music. Today’s recommendation was actually something I found at the library. I had no idea what it was other than that it was in the Popular Music section. The band is Dungen. The album’s title, Ta Det Lugnt, doesn’t give up any information. The flowery pattern on the cover is inscrutable. I picked it up with no preconceived notions, simply wondering what it would be.

Truly, I apologize to you and Dungen for this, but I just can't help myself.

Truly, I apologize to you and Dungen for this, but I just can't help myself.

It was a delightful surprise. Dungen are Swedish (their name almost rhymes with “onion” and means, “The Grove”) and they play a kind of psychedelic Rock that ranges from folky to progressive. I’ll confess up front, the album won’t be for everyone. It’s sung entirely in Swedish. The production is a little treble-heavy. They also like to shift gears 4 minutes into a ballad and give you 3 minutes of crazy soloing or move from a rocker to a couple minutes of jazz. It’s cool, but it can be jarring.

While they won’t be for everyone, they are for a lot of people. The melodies are often beautiful and occasionally exciting and the songs are sprinkled with addictive hooks. I also actually like being completely free from the distraction of lyrics. This 2004 release was well received in the U.S., particularly within Indie Rock circles. They were invited to play Late Night with Conan O’’Brien in 2005 and to play Bonnaroo in 2006 (which I enjoyed).

I have since purchased other releases from Dungen, but this is still my favorite (so far) and six tracks from it are on my iPod.

  • Ta Det Lungt – Here is the whole song on YouTube. Listen at least to the first chorus. This has an old school feel, but with a modern hipness. If Beck had hit the scene in the 1970’s, he might have sounded like this.
  • Panda – After a long drum lead-in and a quick jab from the guitars, the song settles into a progressive Rock groove with great vocal harmonies sung with every note. Swedish is a pretty language.
  • Gjort Bort Sig – This is a spacey rocker with echoing vocals and fuzzy guitar. Whatever he’s singing about, he really seems to mean it. Here they are rocking it live in 2005 at Roskilde.
  • Festival – Love this song. Hard-strummed acoustic guitar and noodling electric guitar set up a great, harmonized vocal hook, which gives way to a psychedelic keyboard interlude in the middle, followed by an almost childish little outro.
  • Du E För Fin För Mig – Another incredibly catchy melody, this time backed by a cool string arrangement. About 6 minutes in, they drop a 2-minute progressive Rock solo that takes us out of the song. Sadly, it’s not on YouTube and the Amazon sample isn’t from when the song gets going. Trust me though.
  • Lipsill – This is a pretty melody that eventually gets some lilting strings. Again, no YouTube, but this Amazon sample does it justice.



May 21, 2009 - Posted by | Indie, Popular, Rock, World Music

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