Blod - Pilgrmssanger LP
Label: Discreet Music
Edition of 500 copies with screenprinted covers, lyric book and additional insert.
The first of what i'm informed are two new Blod albums planned for 2022, both of which are said to take influence from Swedish Christian song & culture. Well, there's no surprise there - I've long thought a religious aspect to underpin much of the recorded output of Gustaf Dicksson, whether as parody, critique or outright reverence. It's hard to determine just what the intention is on Pilgrimssånger, though i'm going to receive these songs on face value and read them as a sincere rechanneling of the aesthetics of religious community and engagement, albeit it with a little art school provocation residing just under the surface. The church is an inherently complex entity, and not speaking Swedish i've little insight as to whether that's something that Dicksson is choosing to pick apart or not.
The text accompanying the record notes that the Blod approach has often been to examine "beautiful things in generally ugly contexts," though i also wonder if that could be viewed the other way around? Leaving that meaning hanging in the air is part of the appeal, and i will say that there's an uncanny aspect to a number of these folk-referencing melodies and hymns, some of which seem to contain the possibility of modern pop song within them - there's a few famous melodies i swear i can hear, though i continue to struggle to determine just what they are. It could be coincidence, it could be part of the strange uneasy, cult-y ambience Dicksson has long seemed to pursue. And if that's not got you intrigued enough, Loopsel's Elin Engstrom turns up on vocals, a reason in itself to investigate. Not much music like this coming from anywhere else right now, which can only speak to the value of having a band like Blod around.