Sweden’s Oscar – Soul Experience is a band put together by young Oscar Ögren specifically for the purpose of playing live and that has continued in Sweden this year although not to the same degree as previously. That is possibly why this eponymous debut album, which began back in the Jurassic era in 2019, has taken until now to reach fruition.
The 11-track album includes several guest artists from Denver, Dallas, Shreveport, and New Orleans, the band having toured the U.S. extensively, also recording there, as well as playing in Europe, Asia and Africa. They worked with American Grammy-awarded drummer and producer Brady Blade, and the U.S. award-winning producer JoeBaby Michaels.
A recommended track is the seventh one, ‘Oh Oh’, which “emerges from the influential shadows of the Rolling Stones.” Believe me you can hear that in the opening bars. I was waiting for Mick to be wheeled on.
There’s a lot of nicey-nicey indie pop and rock around and that’s fine by me. But this is a genuineblast from the past and I personally haven’t heard anything like it for quite a while. It’s raw, primeval and in your face. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. I described ‘Consuming’ as like a volcanic eruption. ‘Oh Oh’ is like an earthquake and the guitar break the tsunami that follows it.
Indeed, the Stones influence may run deeper than it first appears to. The album has a track called ‘Angie’ while there are title references to ‘devil’ ‘honey’ and ‘woman’ in a Stones-like way. As for ‘Sex me’, well, it leaves little to the imagination.
And yet they can mix it up with a variety of styles. A quick listen to ‘Wake Up’ for example gives a peek into a distinctive psych flavour which goes as quickly as it comes and which then shifts into a sort of slow jazz-soul fusion which is hard to nail down.
The standard of musicianship is very high for a young band, too – most of them are in their early 20s.
Before I began writing this I read the PR, which described musical influences like Sly and the Family Stone, Hendrix and Prince, through to contemporary performers like D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, and Childish Gambino. I didn’t think that was possible but judging merely from a couple of tracks, it is. Oscar Soul Experience are a soul band but they are much more than that. Oscar Soul Experience Music.