Isolated Youth: Psykosoma

The Swedish group Isolated Youth has made a strong comeback following a four-year break with their newest track, Psykosoma, serving as the first peek into their long anticipated debut album, Miserere Mei.

While taking a stroll with his dog, guitarist William MĂ„rdberg was suddenly struck by inspiration; a riff which captured his full attention, resulting in him rushing back home, quickly adjusting his guitar to a Robert Johnson tuning, and the song effortlessly poured out from his fingertips. In a stroke of synchronicity, William's brother Axel promptly wrapped up the composition on the piano in just fifteen minutes.

Characterized by producer Max Heyes as a “face-melting song” with a synth hook like a “messed up ice cream truck,Psykosoma stands out with its gritty vocals and intense guitar work, while its influences range from Nina Simone to Robert Johnson and Biblical literature. Written amidst the pandemic, the recording phase was riddled with obstacles, including isolation periods and regular testing. The band received support from co-producers Faris Badwan, frontman of The Horrors, and Max Heyes, celebrated for his work with artists such as Primal Scream and the Rolling Stones.

Psykosoma leaves a lasting impression which echoes its eerie origins. The band comments on the track: “Thematically, Psykosoma delves into the protagonist’s struggles and the inevitable confrontation with personal demons in perceived safe havens, yet it also embodies an esoteric and hopeful psychedelic essence. This duality traces back to the blues influences in guitar tuning and beyond. The overarching themes of the album draw loose inspiration from Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman,” reimagined with modern elements like industrial drum patterns and unconventional synthesizers.

Band photo by Victoria Dalston

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