Jamsällskapet - 'EP1'
Hailing from Sweden, the indie rock band Jamsällskapet met through a site called Jam Sessions. Jamsällskapet translates to "The Jam Assembly” in English. The band blends psychedelic, jazz, blues, pop and rock for a one of a kind music experience. The bandmembers include: Emma Järnvall, lead vocal; Emil Björck, keyboards, rhythm guitar, vocals, and kazoo; Niklas Mattson, lead guitar and vocals; Mehrdad Shirnazar , bass and Ludvig Eriksson on druma. They released their debut 5-track album titled ‘EP1’ this summer. The project was a full band collaboration. The lyrics are mainly written by Emma Järnvall , Emil Bjorck and Niklas Mattson. 'EP1' was produced by Niklas Mattson and Emil Björck who also mixed and mastered the album.
The first song “Svagheten” was originally written in English by Niklas Mattsson. Later, in collaboration with Emma Järnvall, it was re-conceived in Swedish. It commences with the band’s signature crisp psychedelic rock groove laced with melodic, tasteful electric guitar solos. Sung in duo fashion by Niklas and Emma, the vocal lines are reflective and conversational. he lyrics asks. “Why should I be someone else when I can be me?" This is a song about wearing masks to conceal insecurities. Jazz elements are intertwined and a 1960’s -70’s vibe is heard throughout.
The second Song “Trasiga Skor” is a Cornelis Vreeswijk cover. The song’s title translates to “Tattered Shoes”. Cornelis is a Swedish/Dutch poet, singer-songwriter and this is one of his most famous songs. The band’s interpretation is mesmerizing. It starts with a deep and soulful melodic line that sounds classically composed. Against sparse chords, Emma commences with the vocal line, “Some people walk in tattered shoes. Why is that so?” There is a very nice interaction between the lead guitar and the vocals who play off each other in an improvisational style. Emma does emotional justice to this riveting song about social class and inequity.
The third song is “Lyckan” (The Happiness). This upbeat song is pure psychedelic rock and it jams. Singing about the temporary and fleeting nature of love, each member of the band has their moment to shine as the song offers a variety of texture, rhythm, solos and change-ups. With a highly addictive groove, great vocals and superb instrumental arrangements, Lyckan is great.
“Solan gar ner” (The Sun Goes Down) written by Niklas Mattsson is up next with a song about solitude and being caught up in your own thoughts. The song has an excellent introduction comprised of syncopated guitar work. Rhythmically challenging with an alternative edge, the musicianship is tight with impressive percussion. Midway, the bridge is very cool with a vocal and percussion section. This section picks up with a finger snapping, hand-clapping type of groove. Lyrically, the song explores the human yearning to fully understand who we are. “I wish that I was wiser. I knew more and thought bigger. I wish that I was smarter. But then how would I see myself.” The lyrics are poetic using nature and the season to paint the feelings.
“Blaste dom sakta med vinden” (Did they blow away slowly in the wind), written by Emil Björck, is the last song on the EP. It circles around two people reminiscing about the past with nostalgic yearning. Opening with a wonderful guitar shuffle and light percussion, the vibe is a classic blues-rock. Singer Emil Björck simply nails it with great rock vocals. Emma joins in with a crystal-clear tone and the two end the album on fire. Highlights include a kazoo solo and extraordinary solo guitar work.
Jamsällskapet colors outside the lines and outside the box on ‘EP1’ by blending multiple genres and rock grooves to songs that have substance, both musically and lyrically.
You can find Jamsällskapet on Spotify.