Flown is the debut release by Dim Gray a rather unique and vitally intense post-rock/prog band from Oslo in Norway. If this was 1974 then they would fall neatly into the art rock grouping alongside Roxy Music and would no doubt be collaborating on some new and exciting project with Bowie or Eno. However, it is 2021 and there may be fewer art rock groups around so, therefore, Dim Gray may be just a little more unique and ‘different’ these days but quality always wins out. You may not know the band yet but, trust me, you soon will as these boys are most assuredly going to be the next big thing.
Dim Gray has a unique, eclectic and ethereal deliver that is part Radiohead, Sigur Rós, No-man, Talk Talk, Porcupine Tree, Steve Hogarth and Midge Ure’s atmospheric Ultravox but also 100% Dim Gray. This is gorgeous and sublime music that could be the soundtrack to the life and the universe itself as it has a scope and depth that is beyond measure and as brilliant and thought provoking as the heavens above our head. The three members of the band paint pictures with music that is so stirring and emotional that you have to simply stop whatever you are doing and give them your full attention and then you realise that an hour has gone by that was as fleeting as a second and as fulfilling as a life time. The only word that does this album full justice is beautiful as that is exactly what it is and this may be the only album that you ever need for the rest of your life.
The guys involved in this outstanding and amazing project are Håkon Høiberg on guitar and vocals, Oskar Holldorff on vocals and keyboards with Tom Ian Klungland on drums and vocals although there are a number of guests helping to fill out the sound by adding their own little moments of magic to the intoxicating mixture. Together, they have produced a record that simply transcends music and elevates Flown to a true work of art to be relished, cherished and loved. The music ebbs and flows from your speakers and is hypnotic, mesmerising and full of earnest yearning for something just quite not of this world. The use of strings adds another dimension to the band’s sound and this, allied, with guitars made elemental by the careful and controlled use of reverb creates a haunting and evocative experience. Oskar Holldorff has a beautiful tone to his voice which comes across as a mix of Steve Hogarth and countryman Morten Harket and is expressive with just that slight hint of fragility that further strengthens the ethereal quality of the work. Unsurprisingly, there is a concept theme running the album concerning loss and loneliness which the band manages to get across to the listener through the use of a haunting score and darkly sensitive lyrics.
The CD and vinyl editions come with several bonus tracks which make what was already a spectacular package something truly special. Dim Gray should be lauded for producing such a wondrous work of art so early in their career which truly marks them out as something special and this could/should be the start of a meteoric rise to fame and, hopefully, fortune. You simply have to hear this album and you will be hooked immediately as it is a truly magical experience and so different to so much of what is currently available these days.
Flown track list
- Again (3:23)
- The Wave We Thought We’d Ride Forever (4:37)
- Closer (5:57)
- Ráth (3:32)
- Wandering (4:00)
- Flown (1:40)
- Light Anew (5:26)
- Yore (2:22)
- Song For E (3:03)
- Dreamer’s Disease (6:01)
- Black Sun (6:04)
- Again – Live* (3:47)
- Song For E – Live* (3:13)
- Paper Bird – Extended Version* (4:06)
- Ice And Sea* (CD only) (3:48)
- Wakeless* (LP Only) (4:13)