We all know that your environment will shape your music more than anything. If you're living a scummy, scratchy inner city life of rectangles then you're going to route a drumbox through an overdrive and scream. When your back garden looks like this:
Rói Höttur are five swedes who live pretty much at the top of the world, inbetween a mountain, some trees & the period 1967-1976. They've just self-released their debut album 'Imaginarium' - a gorgeous, brooding bubble of riffs, whooshes, bleeps, yelps and yearning blues rock, smothered in heartfelt, fuzzy vibes.
A slight detachment from the rest of the world obviously does you wonders when it comes to putting together an unashamedly retro long player. And make no mistakes, this is definitely a long player. Not an album, a set, or mere collection of songs. This is one you need to sit down and take time with, start to finish.
Their influences may be obvious (Pink Floyd, late period Doors, the more whacked out end of Zeppelin, a smidgeon of Nick Cave on the vocals and a dab of Zappa weirdness) but they're mined with love and enthusiasm. For example, it doesn't really matter that the end of 'Dream Of Papaver (Reprise)' is essentially 'Great Gig In The Sky', because it's honestly the only way it could have gone.
These tracks stretch out like the Scandinavian landscape (scandscape?) - beautiful, immense, wide, open. But the essential character of the record lies in it's unexpected warmth. It's the aural equivalent of the fire you light so you can sit down in the freezing cold and take in that vastness without freezing your Nordic balls off. It's a hug and a blanket on your shoulders. It's your friends face glowing in the flame as she points at a distant peak. It's the glow of the homestead amidst the howl of the wolves. It's the sound of no-one else around for miles and miles, and it luxuriates in its isolation.
Here it is in it's entirety for you to listen to, and we recommend that you do so - "We want the world to have it!", said bassist Volter Hagman, when we asked if it could be shared. Ah! not only talented but generous too. Tack så mycket, Rói Höttur, du är underbar!
Imaginarium by Rói Höttur