The way Dina Ögon weave their dreamy Scandinavian Soul 

Foto: Kalle Ahnlund © Playground
When people think of soul, Sweden doesn’t necessarily come up in their thoughts first. But that may very well change. Thanks to Dina Ögon. With »Oas«, the band is now releasing their second album. On it: ten songs full of groove, life and love. A very unique interpretation of the genre where multiple influences can be found. And yet Dina Ögon have their very own style. So where does their dreamy soul come from?

The sound of a midsummer night’s dream: the Swedish quartet Dina Ögon is due to release their second album »Oas« in the coming days. Their sound? Dreamy soul with folk, R’n’B, jazz and bossa nova influences. »Our sound comes from letting each other be who they are and not trying to conform to anything predefined,« says singer Anna Ahnlund. 

»We hear music from all eras and countries,« says bassist Love Örsan. Sounds from Brazil, Nigeria, Sweden, France, Germany, Turkey and so on. The band members send each other their discoveries and sometimes find inspiration for a song that way, Örsan explains. Or as drummer Christopher Cantillo puts it: »It’s definitely a melting pot, we all have our own tastes, but we also have many common denominators.« 

The quartet is rounded of by Daniel Ögren on guitar and synthesiser. The four musicians have been playing together in various guises for 15 years. For Ögren’s album »Fastingen 92«, he and Ahnlund recorded the song »Idag« in 2019, with Cantillo taking over the drums. »We liked the method, it inspired us and we wanted to do more together,« says Anna Ahnlund. Love Örsan completes the ensemble with his »groove and understanding of music«. 

The Chemistry in Interaction 

And thus Dina Ögon meet for the first time in a small studio called »Kvastis« in Stockholm, a small red hut from the 18th century. They did not rehearse, but wrote the first songs straight off. »Berget« has only just now made it onto the second album. 

If it all sounds pretty much like standard band history up to this point, then the songs on »Oas« make it clear that Dina Ögon live precisely from this game, from this chemistry. They say what they mean. The ten pieces move between reality and dream, sun-drenched groove meets melodies as easy as the wind. 

»Whether folks are happy, angry, sad or stressed out. They should listen to my music and sense something, so that they can get a different perspective on the world.«

Dina Ögon

»Mormor« alone feels like a little soul story, floating on its beats. Strings and glockenspiel expand the sound. »Daniel hit a few chords, and for some reason the mood of the song reminded me immediately of my grandmother,« says Anna Ahnlund. »That quiet lake of experiences of people who have lived a full life, knowing they will never be able to pass all of it on to the next generation. It only reveals itself in a moon in their eyes.«

(Some answers are much more enigmatic than the dreamy sound. Even the band name, says Anna Ahnlund, simply came to mind one morning and just felt right). 

Dreamlike in every note 

The band wrote and worked on the songs for almost a year. »We recorded all the songs in one day at Studio Gagarin with our friend Andreas Tengblads,« says Daniel Ögren. »Afterwards we overdubbed some strings and recorded the lead vocals in our own studio. The whole production took maybe two weeks. Difficult to say.« 

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And how could you when a band like Dina Ögon is thus in flux? They may have adopted new recording techniques, arrangements and structures compared to their début two years ago. But: »I still work more or less in the same way, creating the music and lyrics that I find exciting at this moment in my life«, says Anna Ahnlund. 

One of the most beautiful moments is playing together – and when their music becomes the soundtrack of others’ lives, so says the band. Dina Ögon also deliver their own style with their second album, which slogs away in sepia-coloured chords. A band that simply does their own thing. Life-affirming and melancholic at the same time. Fantastic in every note.