The last couple of years of the pandemic were hard on all of us. But, on some level, it was a brisk period for many industries, such as the music scene, which witnessed the birth of many talents. The Winnipeg-based outfit, VIKINGS, got back in 2020 after three years away and used the lockdown to find its niche. Fast forward to 2022, and here they are releasing the double bang “Tanlines/Swimming At Night,” with a bonus treat.
VIKINGS is a trio that offers an A-class electronic sound. It took Dave McNabb (Synths, Drum Programming), James McNabb (Synth Samples), and Josh Youngson (Keys, Vocals, and Guitar) to produce the topnotch pair “Tanlines” and “Swimming at Night,” with the additional bliss of an Ash Halo Remix of Tanlines and a radio edit of Swimming at Night to keep you pumped for much longer.
“Tanlines” is an extremely vibey love song. It kicks off with a muffled synth note that soon bursts with life. The bright synth, along with the thrilling drum samples and dazzling guitar chords, keeps the groove throughout the track and offers an addictive and dreamy feel. The colorful, sensational vocal line adds further zing to the dreamlike ambiance with its spirited character, which spreads affection and offers a sunny beach scene feel.
The electronic flair in “Swimming at Night” will get you bouncing right from the intro. It has a vintage new-wave flavor that adds authenticity to it. The vocal delivery is more ardent and glowing, rather than melodic and poetic in “Tanlines.” You can see the neon lights swirling in your mind, inviting you to the adventure where you can party all night long and jump into the water at the end. Each single is taking its own direction when it comes to the rhythms, lyrical content, and vocal delivery, showing how these can vary and offer a lot.
It’s not easy for me to like an original song and its remix. I lean towards one version more than the other. But with “Tanlines” and “Tanlines (Ash Halo Remix)”, the equation was hard to make. The remix has an electronic sonic landscape of pulsing cadence. The appealing rhythm gets one electrified as much as the rich bass line. The original has more soul in it, and the remix has a danceable charm.
As Vikings colonized islands and stole what wasn’t theirs, these gifted VIKINGS are here to mark their territory with their musicianship and to steal hearts with their astonishing performance and chemistry.