Music that is off the wall and a little left of field has always been bit of a draw for Desert Psychlist, it's not that we search out the strange and weird it is just that when something comes across our desk that is a touch quirky and a little odder than normal we tend to gravitate towards it like bees to a flower. Sadly there are not too many releases that meet this criteria but one that does is a self titled EP that comes from a combo out of Falun, Sweden going by the name Gaupa. Gaupa, Emma Näslund (vocals), David Rosberg (guitars), Daniel Nygren (guitar), Erik Jerka Sävström (bass) and Jimmy Hurtig (drums), released their debut EP "Gaupa" earlier this month and already it has got people talking.
"Gaupa" has already been described as like "Bjork fronting a rock band" and although Desert Psychlist can see where that description is coming from there is far more to Gaupa than an unusual and unique voice placed in front of a rock'n'roll backdrop. First thing one notices about Gaupa (the band) are the levels of musicianship on display here, solid, tight percussion combined with deep growling bass lines are the backbone around which Gaupa's two guitarists lay down diverse washes of delightful and dynamic six-string colouring, the pair not so much going head to head as complimenting each other with a mixture of eastern motifs, shimmering arpeggios, crunching heavy powerchords and scorching psychedelic lead work, however it is the vocal acrobatics of Emma Näslund that many will leave this EP remembering long after the last note of "Gaupa" fades into silence. Näslund has a unique tone and delivery and it is easy to see why those comparisons with Iceland's elfish chanteuse have been made as both singers have that same distinctive vocal elasticity in their armoury, however where Bjork's voice sometimes wanders into shrillness there is a smoother more fluid timbre to Näslund's vocals that is, for Desert Psychlist, far more pleasing and easier on the ear.
Comparisons aside "Gaupa" is stunning debut full of twists and turns that maintain the listeners interest, keeping him/her on their toes never knowing where songs like "The Drunk Autopussy Wants To Fight You", "Gryt" and "Bergatroll" might lead them next. Quirky, left of field and off the wall never sounded so good.
Check it out ….© 2018 Frazer Jones