Molosser have released their new album titled ‘Appear’. Beginning as a cathartic musical journey, ‘Appear’ is dark, brooding, and, at times, very lucid musically and even spiritually on a certain level. Almost conjuring the spirits of The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and a few other more obscure artists, not in style but in execution.
Filled with utterly unique chord changes and even more original vocal inflections, ‘Appear’ is most definitely an original concept. Even more so than an album. And that is what makes this an endearing set of songs.
‘Appear’ is out now.
Swedish Molosser paint an electrically vibrant soundscape with downtuned acoustic guitars, vocals and drums. Tess and Jahn of Molosser found each other in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city and home of a lively music scene. There, both were playing in various bands and constellations, mainly of the loud and noisy variety.
After a while, though, they moved to a small farm in the province of Småland, where they found themselves in the company of a couple of horses, an American bulldog, a gang of cats, some chickens and three sheep. They started making music on their acoustic guitars, and lacking a bass player they tuned them down so they could share that duty between them. The music that emerged is coloured by both their urban past and their current rural surroundings, a bit like when the blues moved from the delta to the city and got electrified, but the other way around. The nerve and drive remains, but have widened and grown to fill the windy woodlands and dusty, open fields as well as the deeper darkness beyond the edge of town.
Molosser’s music springs from a tight-knit, symbiotic relationship outside the music as well as inside it. It is built around the interplay between the two downtuned guitars, the intimate vocals, strong lyrics and meticulous, creative songwriting. Rather than using traditional acoustic guitar techniques of strumming or fingerpicking, Molosser weave deceptively simple and minimalistic lines and riffs into dancing, rolling patterns. Tess’s vocals add one more voice and deliver strong, poetical and highly personal lyrics, and on the studio recordings her drums make this little unit into a complete band. Any virtuosity involved is less about dexterity or speed and more about composition, arrangement and balance. One of the foundations for Molosser’s music is having access to two rather different musical temperaments, intent on creating a common territory – not necessarily a middle ground but rather a wide, including landscape.
Molosser are reluctant to speak of their influences since that won’t say much about what their music sounds like now. Tess’s experience as vocalist, guitarist and drummer in heavily riffing noise rock bands surely lends stability to rhythms and songwrititing, and Jahn’s past as an improvising saxophonist serves him well in crafting melody lines for the guitar – just to mention a couple of things – but Unsane and Albert Ayler are probably not the first names that come to mind when you hear Molosser’s music. You’re just as likely to think about something that neither of the members has even heard.
Both musically and lyric-wise, Molosser tend to dive down into the deeper waters of life, since the surface is already well taken care of elsewhere. This does not mean that they are wallowing in darkness as a default mode of life, though – living close to nature it’s impossible not to feel joy from watching ravens play in the sky or listening to the wind in the high branches, and being able to make music together gives a golden glow to life. But there are demons to fight and tough questions to try to figure out, and there the music comes in both as a useful tool and a fulfilling end in itself.
Molosser’s first album will be released in May 2021, preceded by four singles – Saguaro, 4th of July (a cover of the Soundgarden song), Unsolid and Solid Gold – each with an official music video that can be seen on YouTube, and followed by videos for the remaining tracks as well. Meanwhile, Molosser are working on the material for their next album, fine-tuning their gear for when the live scene hopefully opens up again, and recording live versions of their songs with just the two guitars and vocals, for the “Barebones/Live” video series that also will be released before and after the album release.