You know how when you go for a massage (no, not one of THOSE places), they put that kind of ‘mind, body and soul’ music on? Well, Daniel Norgren has chosen to open his Wooh Dang album with that kind of soothing potpourri on ‘Blue Sky Moon‘. Except that it goes on just long enough to make you a little uneasy, and wondering where your masseuse has gone, craning your neck in case she’s standing over you with a scalpel and a scythe…
Thankfully that’s where the uncomfortable drama ends, and the joss sticks have been lit on ‘The Flow‘, while Clouds Taste Metallic era Flaming Lips emerge from behind a curtain and urge you to join them in a post bong love-in.
Clearly a few cans of Red Bull have been seen off by the time we get to the skiffle meets honky tonk blues of the splendid fifties homage ‘Dandelion Time‘, while ‘The Power‘ gives off the ambience of a romantic, warm summer evening, lying on a blanket in the garden with a loved one, staring up at the stars and sharing your hopes and dreams together.
‘Rolling Rolling Rolling‘ continues the dewy eyed Americana, the swirling organ highly fruitful and effecting an irresistible nuance somewhere between The Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Many of the tracks here offer a similar warm optimism that recall Messrs Helm, Robertson, Danko et al, not least the gorgeous ‘Let Love Run The Game‘, and it’s hard to imagine that this wouldn’t be held up as a classic of its time, had it been released in the late sixties.
Newcomers to the work of Norgren, then, may be somewhat surprised that he hails not from sunny California, nor even the rolling hills of Western Canada, but from Southwest Sweden. Says Norgren of the recording process in a 19th century textile farmhouse near his home: “I moved a lamp and it left a dark red ring on the pink tablecloth underneath…goldmine! The house was huge, full of good, inspiring mustiness, creaking wooden floors, scary old portrait paintings on the walls, and an old, black German piano which I used in all the songs.”
A highly evocative, beautifully realised record, especially if you’re a fan of that classic sun-drenched sound of the late sixties. Lovely stuff.
Wooh Dang is out now on Superpuma Records.