THIS WEEK I’M LISTENING TO... GIN LADY Tall Sun Crooked Moon (Kozmik Artifactz)
‘Tall Sun Cooked Moon’, Gin Lady’s fifth studio outing, finds the Seventies-soaked, peace lovin’, hippy-dippy Swedes mentally relocating across the Atlantic and picking up on the Woodstock vibe. Sounding more like inhabitants of Haight-Ashbury in the summer of love than Scandinavian musos in this age of uncertainty, guitarist/vocalist Magnus Kaernebro, guitarist Johnny Stenberg, bassist Anthon Johansson and drummer Fredrik Normark have delivered a beautifully played personification of sun-drenched Californication, the perfect backing to a long drive on a summer’s day with the roof down and FM radio calling the shots.
‘Tall Sun...’ sees the band seemingly entrenched in a quest for the perfect West Coast sound, although is perhaps heavier on the country influences than previous albums, especially on ‘The Darkest Days Of All Time’ which just needs a Stetson and a yeehah to complete its smalltown Americana persona. But what sets Gin Lady out from the rest of the pack is that they do sound completely immersed in perfectly rounded nostalgia-laden but wholly contemporary rock music. The album is generally tender and mellow, and as retrogressive as the cover art suggests, and the band sound so laid back they’re almost horizontal, but their music is imbued with gentle melodies and hooks by the bucketload. Kaernebro’s voice is the perfect vehicle to front such a sound, having both harmony and edge, and the lilting and free-flowing guitar work certainly expresses the spirit of the age of love and freedom.
There’s two sides to every story though, and more upbeat material like ‘Into The Wasteland’, ‘The Visit’ and opener ‘Everyone Is Love’ brings the album to life and gives it a healthy shot of variation, showing that when the Lady boys want to cut loose, they’re more than happy to do so. The rest of the time they’re happy to go with the flow, and that’s not a bad way to be.
© John Tucker June 2019