The latest group to release a debut on Hidden Shoal Records, Otinget, is getting ready to drop their album in September. "The Greatest Thing That Never Happened… Yet" is an eclectic and heady mix of rock, jazz, country, and folk sensibilities — with just the right amount of production flourish and lyrics that you can keep coming back to. A dynamic performance from the band rounds out this bold yet gentle collection, with songs that often end with a certain climactic intensity that is both unexpected and satisfying.
Otinget was born in an abandoned industrial building on the outskirts of Stockholm, Sweden, where Victor Alneng and Tomas Eriksson made music in various different incarnations. After enlisting vocalist and guitarist Erik Nilsson, their debut together as a trio also includes performances from Dungen’s Reine Fiske and My Brother the Wind’s Mathias Danielsson.
As Otinget leverages a wide range of aesthetics you are likely to hear a temperamental overdriven electric guitar sparsely mixed with ethereal elements of lap steel and other electro-mechanical elements — piano, glockenspiel, Rhodes, and a lively electric bass that does a stellar job of keeping the pocket together. The result is an all-original and enticing debut that feels a bit like The Black Keys jamming with The White Stripes in Wilco's garage. "Gone in the Morning" leads with a blues friendly finger-style riff and expands on the live feel verse by verse. Instead of the kind of layering of parts that you might expect from a more predictable pop aesthetic, Otinget opts instead for a murky and slightly psychedelic bridge — which segues quickly back to the roots-funky groove. It's probably the most blues heavy track on the album, and serves as a fine example of Otinget's ability to reach across genres in a way that feels at once fresh, slightly retro, and deeply inspired. It's not often that a debut feels this broad and well-delivered, so get ready to pick up this album when it launches next month. You won't be sorry.