Say Psych: Album Review: NONN – NONN

Rating: 7/10

Sweden has recently become a hot bed of psychedelic activity, with Goat being projected to global acclaim and Josefin Öhrn & The Liberation garnering ever increasing publicity. The latest act to join the ranks is NONN, AKA Christian Eldefors who presents his take on brooding post-punk and cold wave.

After spending the winter of 2016 living in a warehouse/rehearsal studio in Stockholm, his debut LP was born, and was snapped up by Fuzz Club Records who released it in May. With a tour imminent including a spot at Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, interest is piqued.

Dark and menacing, ‘Walls’ is chosen to introduce us to NONN, with its haze laden vocals, drum machine echoes and reverberating synth. ‘Lost’ has a catchy countenance with a dance focused beat, channelling a bouncy 80s vibe. The presence of a prominent guitar riff is reminiscent of fellow cold wave band Throw Down Bones. ‘Stay’ continues on this route, with an added lyrical presence and a repeated guitar pattern. ‘Gone’ is a slower piece, with all the sounds we would expect in a cold wave track, in all the right places.

‘Cold’ is probably the stand out track from the LP with a foreboding drum beat, menacing reverb and jarring synth. This track makes you pay attention and the darkness it exudes is empowering. This is cold wave at its finest and the reason many are turning to the genre for sustenance. ‘Need’, ‘Hills’ and ‘Time’ are all vibrant yet minimalistic, using clever repetition as a powerful tool to project the tracks into consciousness. These tracks would not be out of place at a rave in 1980s Berlin and are equally applicable today.

‘Fear’ has an added edginess, which makes it aptly named as the track changes tempo and creates a breathless effect as percussion reverb takes hold. Concluding track ‘Wait’, is another appropriately named entity as the noise it presents is the perfect way to leave a sense of wanting more.

Fuzz Club have taken a step away from their normal artist with NONN, but it’s easy to understand why when you listen to this album. Christian pushes the limits of sounds, experimenting with frequencies and juxtaposing elements to unleash their full potential. There is a beautiful simplicity to this album, from the one syllable track names to the minimalistic use of instrumentation.


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