Swedish psych pioneers Träd, Gräs och Stenar show their trippy sounds are timeless on Träden | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Swedish psych pioneers Träd, Gräs och Stenar show their trippy sounds are timeless on Träden

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During the artistic ascent of rock music during the 1960s, strains of psychedelia developed at an astonishing rate, with each individual scene advancing some unique take on the music. Sweden’s Träd, Gräs och Stenar only released music for a few short years during the early 70s, but they’re considered by some to have outstripped stateside psych acts in improvisatory daring on live recordings such as Djungelns Lag and Mors Mors. The band’s lineage stretches back through several noteworthy bands of the era: the caveman thudding of Pärson Sound gave way to the tripped-out noodling of International Harvester (later shortened to Harvester), hedging a bit closer to an Acid Test vibe before Träd, Gräs och Stenar brought it all together in a full embrace of bucolic hippie idealism. These days guitarist Jakob Sjöholm is the lone connection to the group’s early period (he’s now joined by Dungen’s Reine Fiske, among others), but the self-titled album they released on Subliminal Sounds this August under the name Träden still merges brightly hued guitar workouts with folksier psych traditions, replete with occasional fiddle accompaniment. “The reason that our band still attracts people today is maybe because the music is, in a sense, timeless, just like you want your life to be,” Sjöholm recently wrote me in an e-mail. On their postreunion recordings (including that Träden album), the band summon transcendent guitar screeds with less fervor than in the past. But when it strikes them, they’re still capable of calling forth the freedom-seeking serenity that recalls a time that in a lot of ways was just as troubled as 2018 but still filled with hope and exaltation.   v

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