• David Bentley

Oxen – Dark and Depressive (single from forthcoming album)


'Dark and Depressive'? Not a great title perhaps just now, lads. Swedish duo (originally a trio; their drummer moved on and was replaced by a machine) Oxen (Erik Hases and Stefan Söderqvist) made their debut at the popular Where’s the Music festival in southern Sweden a few years ago, having been in another band by the name of Great Garb. (I have a feeling it might have been the same festival and year that Viola Beach played).


They then released a couple of singles which generated quite a lot of streaming activity, and which gave them the confidence to release a self titled EP.


Their PR regularly describes them as “Sweden's new indie pioneers,” delivering “an innovative and yet somewhat nostalgic sound that we haven't seen coming out of Sweden for a long time.” The ‘innovative/nostalgic’ comment seems pretty accurate to me, they seem to have the ability to combine those attributes while throwing in a touch of shoegaze. And they generate a guitar sound they’ve come to own, at least in Sweden, while Erik Hases’ vocals are quite distinctive. ‘Modern, everyday romance’ seems to be their stock-in-trade.


They did come to the UK to play a set in London a couple of years ago but since then have tended to focus, as with many other Scandinavian artists, on Germany. That’s a shame because I hear they are a dynamic live act.


It’s the first song to be released from their second album which should come along before the end of the year. The only disappointment is that a band which usually finds it easy to get a tune didn’t quite reach their usual very high standard in that department with this one.

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