audiObelisk: Barr’s Redux of “He ain’t a Friend, He’s a Brother” Streaming Now

If you didn’t get to hear Barr‘s 2008 debut LP, Skogsbo is the Place, it was one of that year’s subdued highlights (general appreciation here), full of beautiful and sweetly melancholic acid folk, driven by a less postured than “neo-pagan” worship of nature and all things organic, but still mostly about the songs themselves and what melodies and harmonies can accomplish in a setting thoroughly human. The sophomore outing, Atlantic Ocean Blues, arrives next week (04/25) courtesy of Sakuntala Records, an imprint of Transubstans.

Recorded in the band’s native Sweden, Atlantic Ocean Blues is no less pastoral than was its predecessor. Rather, the six-piece band adds more to the psychedelic aspects of their sound, so that opener “The End of the Road” and closer “Hanoi Haze” envelop the traditional songwriting between them in an early-’70s sepia of bright hopefulness. Among the most curious of the album’s tracks is “He ain’t a Friend, He’s a Brother,” which it just so happens was also included on Skogsbo is the Place.

And really, the reason I asked to be able to stream “He ain’t a Friend, He’s a Brother” over any of the other tracks on Atlantic Ocean Blues is because, for anyone who heard the first record, it makes for a firm summary of the changes in sound from that LP to this one. That said, even if you didn’t hear Barr‘s debut, the song has an appeal outside of the curiosity of its being a remake, and that lies in its gorgeous melody and lushness of feel.

Whether or not you’ve heard it before, I certainly hope you enjoy the track in its new form on the player below:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Barr‘s Atlantic Ocean Blues will be available on Sakuntala starting April 25, 2012. For more info or to pre-order the album, click here. Patrik Andersson (guitar/vocals) sent along the following input on remaking the song:

The idea behind bringing along “He Ain’t A Friend…” is that we reworked it when we started trying out the new sound in the rehearsal space. We listened to all of these Senegalese and Nigerian psych compilations from the ’70s and tons of Tinariwen and wanted to aim for a more primitive rock sound, like a nomad-blues kind of sound, and as soon as I started playing the originally rather complex guitar figure in that song — you know, it’s played on an oddly-tuned six-string acoustic — with only two tones — we where there. We got into the most effective groove and felt that it was simply was too good not to be recorded for the next album. We also wanted to feature an Arabic-style psych solo with tons of space echo in order to bring the listener further out in the desert moonlight, and worked on that one for many days. Personally, the song is very dear to me, since the lyric’s about a family member gone haywire. So it all made sense. Hope you dig it!

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