Oh Frida, what a voice you have. Some might say almost a cross between Joni Mitchell and Maja Ivarsson. Regardless, clearly a voice destined to trigger events into motion. It caught my attention in a moment, and I was definitely not the first, and nor will I be the last.
Swedish band Oh Laura—formerly Laura—started off as college friends Jocke Olovsson’s and Jorgen Kjellgren‘s songwriting project. Things quickly changed when Jocke met Frida Ohrn at one of her performances and, captivated by her voice, proposed her to form a band together with him and Jorgen. Thus the band—whose name is inspired by television series Twin Peaks heroine Laura Palmer— was formed. Eventually two of Frida’s friends—bass player Rikard Lindhamn and drummer Magnus Olsson—joined in, completing the band.
Live performances and their growing fan base eventually led them to meet Swedish indie label Cosmos Records in 2006. The label would end up releasing Oh Laura’s first album in 2007, named “A Song Inside My Head, A Demon In My Bed.” “Release Me,” the album’s first single, would go on to become a hit—peaking at #2 on Swedish charts—as well as appearing in a Saab commercial aired in various European countries, New Zealand and Australia.
Their second album titled The Mess We Left Behind was released on June 13th 2012 under Cosmos Records. With a 20 track count, it consists of 10 remakes from their first album and 10 new songs. There are also two rather impressive live performances, both of which are songs from the first album.
The album consists of mostly slow, moody country tunes. “California” kicks off the album as the ideal escape/start-over destination. “The Mess You Left Behind” is a beautiful, if sad, catchy tune while “Kennedy” and “Lucky Tonight” pack major kick-bum attitude. The limited instruments and slower beats of “A Friend Like Me” and “One Dance” further allow the uniqueness of Frida’s vocals to shine through. Fans of Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman would enjoy this set, as may anyone looking for some authentic, mellow country tunes.
Hard liquor in hand or not, it’s a “mess” one won’t mind getting into.
Tags: country music, Oh Laura, Oh Laura - The Mess We Left Behind album review, pop music, Swedish bands