The Swedish quartet has announced the release of their seventh studio album, Häxan.
After last year’s magnificent full-length release Allas Sak, Dungen has announced that their newest all-instrumental record Häxan (translating into: The Witch) will be released on 25 November this year, as a Record Store Day/Black Friday special. With the announcement, the song ”Jakten genom skogen" was posted, showcasing that the Swedes have not lost their touch in making beautifully arranged, suggestive and cinematic psychedelic pop-music.
As an album, Häxan was conceived in a rather unusual way for an established rock band like Dungen, whom in 2015 had agreed to write the score for Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 animated film The Adventures of Prince Achmed. Having completed the soundtrack, the band found themselves so inspired by the work they had produced that they sent some of the recordings to their producer Mattias Glavå, with the instructions to make an album out of them. Glavå then went on to record, mix and edit all of the sessions on analog tape, resulting in the band’s seventh studio albumEven though Häxan does not follow the same linear narrative as the film, it is therefore heavily influenced by the work Dungen had done for the German classic animated feature (it is the oldest surviving film of its kind), with most titles evoking the struggles of the film’s characters. However, the members of the band have stated that their album is a work that could either be viewed as a part of the film, or as entirely independent original music.
Even though the genesis of Häxan might not have been entirely conventional, Dungen have not been known to shy away from the unorthodox in the past. The band, brain-child of frontman and singer/songwriter Gustav Ejstes (also known from Swedish supergroup Amason), has since its beginnings in Stockholm in 1999, only performed songs in Swedish. The fact that they sing in Swedish would not appear to be so unexpected, would it not have been for the fact that they were an immediate success on the international stage with their 2004 album Ta Det Lugnt, proving their talent with songs such as ”Panda” (see below). There has not been many Swedish artists who have conquered the attention of the world without lending their voice to another language on at least a couple of occasions, making Dungen unique in their craft. What is even more surprising is that even though Dungen at quite an early stage were successful in international music-circles, there was a long period when the band did not gather much attention in their native Sweden. This has changed, and the band has since established themselves as the heavyweight champions of the modern Swedish psychedelic scene (with some competition from GOAT).
Based on the quality of ”Jakten genom skogen" and the fact that Dungen previously have released albums of consistently high standard, we can only assume that Häxan is one of those records that will be played in the homes of sixties-rock-aficionados all over the planet. We therefore advise you to keep up with what they’re up to, something you can do by following them on Facebook or Instagram. You can pre-order their album on their Bandcamp, as well as listen to more of their music on Soundcloud.