According to an old Swedish legend, a traveling witch doctor and her disciples were led to Korpilombolo, a tiny and extremely remote Northern Swedish village by a Sami traveller. The reasons why that Sami traveller may have decided to lead the witch doctor to a remote, Northern Swedish village has been lost to history — these things happen after all — but strangely enough, within Korpilombolo, the practice of voodoo quickly became common and continued unabated and fairly unnoticed for several centuries. During the time of the Crusaders, the Catholic Church had discovered that heretical and non-Christian practices were occurring in the tiny and remote Northern Swedish village, and a small band of Crusaders were sent to burn the villagers out and the village down. Whoever survived returned when it was safe, rebuilt their village and have since continued to practice voodoo.
Reportedly, the rather mysterious and masked collective GOAT hails from Korpilombolo — and a great deal of their work thematically and aesthetically draws influence from voodoo, spirit conjuring, psychedelia and other practices. And although little is generally known about the collective, they quickly built up a national profile across Sweden. In a series of coincidences that could only seem to happen in the age of the Internet, the band signed to renowned indie label Sub Pop Records, who released the act’s sophomore full-length effort, Commune and a couple of 7 inches to critical acclaim internationally. Last year, the collective’s “It’s Time For Fun”/”Relax” 7 inch was written while in their native Sweden but recorded in the Americas — A side single “It’s Time For Fun” recorded here in NYC, while B side single “Relax” was recorded in Sao Paulo — and had the act expanding and experimenting with their sound through the use of synths and drum programming that pushed their sound towards a trippy world music-leaning post-punk similar to Talking Heads.
The Northern Swedish collective’s forthcoming “I Sing In Silence”/”The Snake of Addis Ababa” 7 inch is slated for a May 27 release through Sub Pop Records and their latest effort reveals that the act is continually expanding upon and experimenting with their sound — this time going completely acoustic as a gorgeous and fluttering flute line is paired with a shuffling and elastic guitar line, gently propulsive drumming and chanted vocals as you’ll hear on the A side single “I Sing In Silence.” And interestingly enough, the single strikes me as sounding as though it’s heavily indebted to early prog rock — in particular think of Yes’ “Roundabout“– and psych rock as “I Sing In Silence” possesses a similar trippy and expansive vibe.
The recently released music video manages to employ the use of aptly old timey and psychedelic imagery — that also manages to be incredibly creepy and unsettling; in some way, the video turns the natural beauty of Sweden and elsewhere into something surreal and menacing.