Swedish acoustic downtuners MOLOSSER take the bassline a notch lower in Dive In (Barebones Sessions), where a small guitar plays a monstrous, primal blues riff under singer Tess’ almost rap-like vocals. The song opens up into a beautiful, if hardly cheerful, chorus – “I’m diving in and melting, but I never meant to sink” – all presented with the minimalistic yet intricate interplay between the two guitars and the vocals that has become Molosser’s trademark.
Dive In (Barebones Sessions) is number two in a series of singles/videos where Molosser perform four tracks from their acclaimed debut album Appear in straightforward live versions – one take, straight into the microphones. The ever-creative duo would not stop at the usual “two people playing in a room” video though, but have made an evocative and captivating video for each song, filmed in the loft of the old barn on the small farm where they live. The centuries-old wood and stones sing in dark harmony with Molosser’s music.
The riff – bluesy, with a doomy metal tinge – was the fruit of a mistake when Jahn, one of the dou’s two guitarists, was tuning his old Yamaha (that had its 50th birthday the day before Christmas eve, by the way). He aimed for the duo’s customary “drop C” tuning, but got it wrong and ended up with a low string tuned to G – that’s two notes up from the lowest string on an electric bass. He was just playing around with a riff in this tuning when Tess –guitarist and vocalist – heard it and realized that they should make something of it. The result was the darkest of the tracks on Appear, popular among folkies and metalheads alike.
This kind of incident is made possible by the fact that Tess and Jahn are partners not only in music, but in all other aspects of life as well. Their music is influenced by this symbiotic relationship as well as by where they have made their home – on a small farm in the Swedish province of Småland, with nature waiting right outside the door. Living this way opens the eyes for all the tiny dramas that take place all around, the changes in the permanence, which has put its mark on Molosser’s organic approach to music.
Another component that is at least as important, though, is that both Tess and Jahn come from a rather louder, electric background playing riff-heavy music and far-out, improvised jazz in bands in the city of Gothenburg, where they met each other. This is, in a way, where their hearts lie, and to let these energies come through in a more low-key setting is a delicious challenge that they continue to explore.
The Barebones singles can be seen as a prelude to the new album that Molosser are working on now, with a rougher, more direct approach than the atmospheric soundscapes on Appear. The same attention to intermingling rhythms, melodies and harmonies will apply, but it is a more confident Molosser that strides out to spread the word this time.