Essential New Music: Enhet För Fri Musik’s “Det Finns Ett Hjärta Som För Dig”

Enhet För Fri Musik (“Unit For Free Music”) is a quintet whose music will defy you to accurately date its origin, let alone know what the band is singing about. This is a sort of underground all-stars combo, and if membership in other groups like Neutral, Sewer Election or Blod means nothing to you, rest assured that Enhet för Fri Musik is nothing like the harsh noise and brutal songcraft of its members other outfits.

There are easy-to-track similarities with New Zealand’s Xpressway diaspora in the use of antique organs, rough analog recording and rougher editing. But the vibe Enhet För Fri Musik is going for may be more like an update of Sweden’s communal, anyone-can-walk-in-and-contribute vibe of hippie outfits from the 1960s and 1970s. The style jumps from folky strumming to churchy recital, from motor-skills-deficient free jazz to century-spanning sound collage, with Sofie Herner’s conversational, Swedish-only vocal delivery the main unifying factor on a record that is in constant flux. It all feels simultaneously intriguing and quite foreign, and in a shrinking world, the ability to create the experience of barely bridgeable distance commands respect.

—Bill Meyer