Sweden's Oracle North are Olov Andersson, Andreas Bygdell, Johan Wahlberg & Lina Öhman. Their recently released debut EP 'Communion' exhibits influences deeply rooted in post-punk and new-wave heritage, but it never feels like it’s borrowing too heavily from either.
For every familiar sound there is an original counter-point which catches you off guard in the best way possible. Talking about the EP, the band said:
“I think our music is touching on subjects like estrangement and existential anxiety, which is expressed through some sort of yearning for a more primitive experience. Aesthetically, we've been inspired by equal parts Greek mythology; the Dionysian, Apollonian dichotomy and so forth, and the late 70s, early 80s DIY culture. And Can... and Suicide.”
Despite being their debut release the band are no strangers to each other, having previously collaborated on numerous projects and having released material on labels such as Kitsuné and Palms Out Sounds. Their latest single 'Underzone' which you can stream below, continues to blend the synth-punk, industrial and motorik krautrock sounds of the aforementioned Can and Suicide as well as heavily evoking early New Order.
Dark but uplifting vocals take centre stage in the EP's title track ‘Communion’, supported by post-punk instrumentation that occasionally experiments with shoegaze almost rose-tinted bass and guitar lines. Check out the video below:
1. You guys have collaborated before on other projects, what was it that made you want to come together and start making music as Oracle North?
Short answer is that we just felt like recording some music, with no deadlines or anything like that. We were just very tired on making music for the dance floors. The whole idea of pleasing. This was just hanging out and recording.
2. Your wonderful debut EP 'Communion' was released back in December, what's next for you all?
Next up is the release of our next EP, Underzone, released on Fake Meat Studios in March. We are recording some new material and hopefully we’ll have another EP out by the early summer.
3. 'Communion' seems to draw elements from numerous eras and genres, who are your biggest musical inspirations/icons?
That’s a very complicated question to answer, I mean we love a lot of music. To me artists and songs and genres can be just ways to describing different expressions, sounds or images, It makes it possible to speak music. And we speak a lot of music. But we ain’t got no altars, maybe a chris & cosey altar, a small one.
4. What else influences you other than music?
Films and other forms of art. That sounds really boring but, yea mostly books and films.
5. Are there any subcultures (past or present) that you identify with?
I don’t know if we identify with, but we draw inspiration from different avant garde movements, be it tape music or kraut or any form wave. But no, not identify like that, guess we used to when we were younger, now we feel a certain need to be more culturally free.
6. You played at the By:Larm Nordic new music festival last year. What's the most exciting thing going on right now on the Nordic scene?
Oh that I don’t know. Is there a Nordic scene? I like some Nordic artists like Älgarnas Trädgård and Sugarcubes, but I don’t know if they have anything in common, or you know, is part of some sort of force. Maybe they are, but they are not very exciting then I guess.
7. If you could have any artists dead or alive cover you, who would it be?
It would be cool with someone like Elvis or someone else really dead and really big, but I doubt it would be very awesome covers. Monochrome set in 79 maybe?