Dungen's Secret Language

dungen (Karl Max).jpg

Dungen (photo by Karl Max)

Even when I took that Ingmar Bergman film class in college, I didn't feel as compelled to learn Swedish as I do after listening to the latest album by the band Dungen. Pronounced "DOON-ghen" (or, so I've been told), the acclaimed outfit put out its fourth studio album, appropriately titled 4 this fall, and head to Chicago this coming weekend.

Listening to 4 I'm struck over an over how the lyrics, all in Swedish (granted, it's the band's native tongue), and all hardly even pronounceable by my lazy Southern tongue are simply gorgeous. Typing in a few phrases to an online translator, I discover simple lines, like the refrain in the track "Det Tar Tid" means (I think) "It takes time", which is a perfect answer to the song's breezy, yet straightforward structure. For once, I'm not hung up on memorizing lyrics (I can hardly wrap my mind around the words), but I'm focused on the progression of the songs, which is appropriate with Dungen's evolving music style on this album. Somewhere between psychedelic pop, folk music, Jethro Tull-ian flute ragas, and jam band guitar noodle, Dungen is kind of a delicious musical stew. There are piano, organ and perhaps even a xylophone in the mix, and it all works in this wonderful psych-pop melange.

Songs like "Fredag" (an instrumental piece) and "Samtidigit" with its psychedelic jams are perfect for nodding to on the train in the fall light, or rocking to as the band hits the stage this weekend at The Bottom Lounge. Tickets are $15 (adv) and $18 (door) and the show is 18+. Headdress, Chandeliers, and Life On Earth open.

[mp3]: Dungen - "Det Tar Tid"

Hey, hey! Right now, the first reader who writes us at contests (at) gapersblock (dot) com with the subject line "Swedish Fish!", will win a free copy of Dungen's album 4. Chop chop!

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