PRESS ROOM

MOLOSSER BIO I & II

MOLOSSER

Swedish MOLOSSER paint an electrically vibrant soundscape with downtuned
acoustic guitars, vocals and drums.

Tess and Jahn of Molosser found each other in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city and home of a lively music scene. There, both were playing in various bands and constellations, mainly of the loud and noisy variety. After a while, though, they moved to a small farm in the province of Småland, where they found themselves in the company of a couple of horses, an American bulldog, a gang of cats, some chickens and three sheep. They started making music on their acoustic guitars, and lacking a bass player they tuned them down so they could share that duty between them. The music that emerged is colored by both their urban past and their current rural surroundings, a bit like when the blues moved from the delta to the city and got electrified, but the other way around. The nerve and drive remains, but have widened and grown to fill the windy woodlands and dusty, open fields as well as the deeper darkness beyond the edge of town.


Molosser’s music springs from a tight-knit, symbiotic relationship outside the music as well as inside it. It is built around the interplay between the two downtuned guitars, the intimate vocals, strong lyrics and meticulous, creative songwriting. Rather than using traditional acoustic guitar techniques of strumming or fingerpicking, Molosser weave deceptively simple and minimalistic lines and riffs into dancing, rolling patterns. Tess’s vocals add one more voice and deliver strong, poetical and highly personal lyrics, and on the studio recordings her drums make this little unit into a complete band. Any virtuosity involved is less about dexterity or speed and more about composition, arrangement and balance. One of the foundations for Molosser’s music is having access to two rather different musical temperaments, intent on creating a common territory – not necessarily a middle ground but rather a wide, including landscape.

Molosser are reluctant to speak of their influences since that won’t say much about what their music sounds like now. Tess’s experience as vocalist, guitarist and drummer in heavily riffing noise rock bands surely lends stability to rhythms and songwrititing, and Jahn’s past as an improvising saxophonist serves him well in crafting melody lines for the guitar – just to mention a couple of things – but Unsane and Albert Ayler are probably not the first names that come to mind when you hear Molosser’s music. In reviews, the Doors, Nick Cave and various folk and Americana artists have been mentioned, but you’re just as likely to think about something outside of those boundaries. The fact that the only cover on the album - 4th of July - is a Soundgarden song, might give a hint of where some of the music is coming from, just like Molosser’s unique arrangement will tell you what happens when they get their hands on it.


Both musically and lyric-wise, Molosser tend to dive down into the deeper waters of life, since the surface is already well taken care of elsewhere. This does not mean that they are wallowing in darkness as a default mode of life, though – living close to nature it’s impossible not to feel joy from watching ravens play in the sky or listening to the wind in the high branches, and being able to make music together gives a golden glow to life. But there are demons to fight and tough questions to try to figure out, and there the music comes in both as a useful tool and a fulfilling end in itself.


Molosser’s first album was released in May 2021, and since this is an album with all A-sides, each track has been graces with an official music video as well as a single. Currently, Molosser are working on the material for their next album, fine-tuning their gear for when the live scene hopefully opens up again, and recording live versions of their songs with just the two guitars and vocals, for the “Barebones” video series that is featured on the Evil Ear website.

DOWNLOAD PHOTOS

These photos are free to download and publish online in connection with material about Molosser and/or Evil Ear. The "Big" versions are reasonably large, uncompressed, high quality jpegs, the "Small" ones are smaller and of somewhat lesser quality, ready to slap onto your website with no further ado. Photo credit: Evil Ear/Varghem Visuals.

For seriously high-resolution photos made for print, please contact info@evilear.com!

Downloadable pics of the record covers here.



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THE MOLOSSER STORY

- extended version -

When Molosser started with their concept of two downtuned acoustic guitars, it was originally as a convenient way to make songs for what was supposed to be an electrical project. It soon turned out, though, that the tonal and dynamic spectrum offered by the acoustic instruments made way for a new way to use the riffs and licks. It also became obvious that there really wasn’t any need for a bass guitar, since the two guitars could share that role between them. Instead of using the acoustic guitars in the traditional way, by strumming or fingerpicking chords, Molosser build their music by weaving together riffs, basslines and melodies, at times in a way similar to how piano players use their left and right hands.


As this new way of making music started to find its feet, Tess went on with crafting lyrics and vocal melodies to fit the emerging songs, adding a third voice to the sound. An important aspect of Molosser’s music is that each of these voices – the two guitars and the vocals – tell their own story in an ongoing conversation with each other. You can enjoy the songs just like any other music, but to get the full experience you might want to pay attention to what’s going on behind and around the vocals.


When Tess and Jahn realized they had an interesting thing going with the acoustic guitars, they started recording the songs on a Zoom 16-track portastudio. It turned out that, using multiple microphones on each guitar, playing around with the panning for the different tracks and adding drums to the mix – Tess is an experienced drummer – it was possible to create a full, vivid tonal landscape without adding any more instruments. In the final production, there are a few overdubbed (acoustic) guitars, but mostly it is the minimalistic, dynamic interplay of the two original guitar takes that build the base of the music.

Molosser made extensive pre-production using the portastudio, so when they finally went into the studio to record the album, they had a pretty clear picture of what they were trying to achieve. It goes without saying that it’s a challenging prospect to make two acoustic guitars – that often don’t play more than one or two notes each – sound like a full band, but considering, we must say that it went pretty well in the end. The result is a unique sound that might take a little while to get used to, but when you do, you want to come back for more.


For those who are curious about how much of Appear that is pure playing power and how much is studio magic, it will be enlightening to listen to the Barebones/Live video series, where we seated Molosser in a cozy corner of Evil Ear Studio to record raw, gritty versions of the songs straight into the microphones, live without overdubs. These takes are certainly enjoyable in their own right and gives a hint of in which direction Molosser are moving now.


One thing that might set Molosser apart from many other examples of acoustic guitar music is that the vocals often have a nerve and intensity that you associate more with electric rock and a freedom of phrasing that’s inspired by jazz and soul. This is no wonder, since Tess and Jahn have a background more in these worlds than in folk, Americana or similar genres. Not to say that this is obvious at all times, but it makes it hard to put the duo squarely into any one genre.

If you bear this in mind, you’ll hopefully be ready to enter the word of Molosser and make yourself at home there!

PRESS RELEASES / RECORD COVERS

Here you'll find downloadable press releases for the album and the singles, along with the covers, for publication. The cover pics are 1080x1080 px,  aroung 250-500 kB. If you need a really high-resolution photo for print (3000x3000px), conact info@evilear.com!

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