Tanlines/Swimming At Night
Vikings’ new double single (with sides) ‘Tanlines / Swimming at Night’ is a cultured amalgam of sounds. The Canadian trio feed into something intimate and warm with songs about love and throes of passion. All the while delivering trademark pulsing beats under dramatic melodies you will be hard-pressed not to cut a square to. Add to these amazing singles one ‘Ash Halo Remix’, and we have ourselves a keeper.
Opening with vibes of the 1975, ‘Tanlines’ is a hot weather classic. Its catchy guitar riff bounces as the baseline drags you into dance. Vikings' vocal talents are not lost in the synth-forward single, quiet and melodic lyrics match the feel and presence of the track and lead us into the smooth ebbs and flows of the song. The chorus is endlessly catchy and doesn’t overdo it as many dance songs can. The pressure builds with the volume and the melody reaches its crest as the vocals, in a word, jive. The feeling of ‘Tanlines’ is one of belonging and comfort, so comfortable in the fact that you’ll dance like a loon in front of all your friends. Or just the mirror.
In contrast, the bright and luxurious dance tones of ‘Tanlines’ comes ‘Swimming at Night’. Its beastly bassline opens the song up and then gets darker and darker. It pulls us right back to the 80’s club epics. When the drums head in we realise just how modern the composition is, layer in some surprising harmonies and some slick vocals that hit the heights that the bass can’t, and it is simply juicy. The chorus is fast and highlights that pulsing drive that the Vikings have honed into a science. The song toys with volume and industrial percussion to keep us involved. If you like the sound of the opening, stick with it. I won’t ruin it but the final break is so worth the wait. Pleasurable and tantalising the song builds and definitely doesn’t let us down when the beat drops into a retro synth-wave punk flick that I listened to approximately ten times in a row just to get lost in it.
The pairing of these songs and their clashing bond, like titans in a rainbow light tide pool, is a delicious work of harmonic album writing. They can, and do, stand aloft alone. But to give us two great tunes wasn’t enough for Vikings. They add to their double single a remix of ‘Tanlines’ by Ash Halo. The remix brings a heavier tone, not unlike the one we feel in ‘Swimming at Night’ to ‘Tanlines’ and brings an almost House focus to the Dance Pop track. Some remixes make the song better, some make them worse. Very few stand beside their parent track and look them in the eye. My oh my does the ‘Tanlines (Ash Halo Remix)’ achieve just that?
‘Tanlines / Swimming at Night’ is a must-listen for fans of Dance, Synth-Pop, Hyper-Retro music and anyone who can appreciate stellar soundscape craftsmanship