Local Wire

Dungen

Take psychedelic rock — composed by just one person — then slap on some Swedish vocals, and you'll end up with a recipe for what would seem like some has-been niche band from the 1970s. For multi-instrumentalist Gustav Ejstes, the creative force behind Swedish rockers Dungen, it works well. The band's 2004 album Ta Det Lugnt propelled Dungen into American indie rock's consciousness, proving that lyrics sung in Swedish wouldn't stop listeners from fawning over Dungen's smart, polished psychedelic rock sensibilities. If anything, Ejstes' vocals were endearing for fans the world over, especially in America. Ejstes consistently raises his own bar set by Ta Det Lugnt — his two albums since then have proved how prolific and talented the Swede really is. Though you can't understand a damn thing he's saying, it's impossible not to appreciate the overwhelming beauty of a band like Dungen. It's music with massive worldwide and crossover appeal, something rarely seen in a genre like psychedelic/folk rock sung entirely in Swedish — maybe because there is only one band doing anything remotely similar to what it is Dungen does so perfectly.
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Michael Lopez