Photo: Rasmus Weng Karlsen
That’s correct – the new Vinnie Who album will be released through Tiger – not Tiger of Sweden who sells swanky clothes to men with too much money – Tiger, the discount shop that sells fake dog poop, straws in the shape of sunglasses, cotton pads and candy that’s on the verge of going out of date. It’ll be the Danish chain’s first vinyl LP release and according to their website, it’ll be 50 DKK. Now when you go in to pick up those birthday presents for your friends that say “I’m broke – but at least I got you something”, you can actually buy them something worthwhile; this album.
Never mind that independently owned record boutiques are closing left right and center across Denmark while you can’t even have a conversation with someone without hearing “but vinyl is better” while no-one seems to be owning up to not actually going into shops and putting money across the counter. Maybe buying a record from Tiger is like buying cheap cans of tuna – you know that it’s not helping to sustain the business and probably killing tons of dolphins in the process too. I’m not saying Niels (aka Vinnie Who) is by any means the musical equivalent to a Chinese fisherman, but you have to admit – it seems a bit two faced to support the format of vinyl and then sell it exclusively in Tiger.
I also don’t want you to flip out and call me a twat when you see me buying it when it comes out because it’s one of the best things I’ve heard all year. This comes bearing in mind that I also have to buy cheap tuna and cage laid eggs because I spent my entire food budget on vinyl earlier this week. FML.
Let’s talk about the music. When I first got an advance for this I whacked it into ITunes and forgot about it because I went to Ireland and got drunk for a week. I then had my “recently added” playlist on shuffle (as per my morning shower and feeding requires) and “Much Much More” (the lead track and single from Harmony) came up. I was seriously digging it but couldn’t for the life of me think of what it was – It sounded like some 70s John Lennon or some obscure Burt Bacharach tune – I ran out naked and lathered to see just what the wonderful sounds coming out of the computer were – it was this lad.
Harmony sets a vibe of a gold tinted 70s sunset that just totally hits that drunken romantic vibe. It could almost be a re-discovered treasure from some obscure Euro-trash maestro in Bermuda shorts and a mustache with aviator glasses on. It’s tight. We know Vinnie Who’s music to be pretty heavy on the neo-disco vibe from being played about 90 times a day a few years ago on P3, but this is certainly an example of an artist changing direction and sound completely with a desirable effect: changing it up, but keeping it real to your roots. It’s by no means dance-y or that ‘punch the air’ record you want to put on before you hit the town – it’s a cuddle with a sexy warm body after a glass of Merlot in a meadow at dusk.
The songs are all evenly woven together to form a monogamous piece of blue-eyed soft rock with extreme pop sensibilities. Many of the tracks could pass for some post-Beatles George Harrison or John Lennon – minus the screaming and political agenda. It’s good pop music.
Highlights are 2nd track – “Seven”; it puts one in mind of the slick Phil Spector produced Leonard Cohen’s Death Of A Ladies Man and continues the vibe on to “Imagination” – a more psychedelic affair mixing Vinnie’s wispy thin vocals with more dreamy pop sorcery. This guy can absolutely write and arrange a song – it’s an authentic piece of European pop mastery. The production is spot on and never backs away from it’s focus on the whole 70s soft rock vibe, Although there are a few tracks on (what I suppose will be..) the second side that tend to drag on slightly like the instrumental guitar noodling of “Swimming”, however the piece fits the mood and the album finishes strong again with the epic 6 ½ minute “Mymia”.
Aside from all the talk about being released through Tiger and the current state of record shops in the country – you’re gonna forget about any of that bullshit as soon as you hear this album. Let’s be honest – for most of us, we will be listening to this on our phones with shitty headphones, but this record will still sound great.
Released digitally and on CD on 30/3 (if you just can’t wait to go to Tiger) and on vinyl on 17/4. Easter baskets and chicken hats are also on sale down there, so make haste.
Let’s be honest – for most of us, we will be listening to this on our phones with shitty headphones, but this record will still sound great. (4.5/6)