Swedish singer songwriter Vargen grabbed a lot of people’s attention in 2017, with his debut album Sånger från natten, sånger från Dan. It featured a soundtrack of his own music to accompany dark poems by Swedish author Dan Andersson (1888-1920). In 2018, the video for the tracks “Tjuvskytten” and “Visa vid Varma källorna” went viral in Sweden. His success continued with his following albums Tänk Inte Efter – Bob Dylan På Svenska (2019) and Love / Leave – 11 Songs of Bob Dylan (2020). Both were Swedish translations and covers of songs by the iconic Bob Dylan.
Now, Vargen (Reine Johansson) begins a new chapter for his latest project. He is working towards a brand new collection of original songs, but this time, all in English. It is a release he is excited for us all to hear. His latest single, “Mindy Morning”, offers a glimpse of what to expect. He says, “the song was written on acoustic guitar. The chords and lyrics came instantly. I wanted the sound of waking up from a dream in which you’re driving an old light blue sports car through technicolour landscapes of both desert and riviera, remembering a lost love which maybe is about to happen again. I wanted the sound of 70’s Fleetwood Mac or Dire Straits, but with an odd lead instrument. At first, I thought of a trumpet or trombone, but when we found that old Minimoog in the studio attic, that was it”.
Dag Hallberg begins “Mindy Morning” with his talents on the Minimoog. The analogue synth sets a dream-like mood for Vargen to share his story. He does so with the opening lines, “Mindy morning / She sleeps until noon / Mindy calls me / Better get here soon”. Even though the majority of his previous songs have been in Swedish, he loses none of his vocal quality by switching languages. It has an effortless old soul in how he delivers each word. As a result, it adds something special to this storytelling experience.
As the song continues, the soundtrack is as alluring as its story. It is thanks to the help of talented musicians Andreas Alm (acoustic guitar), Per Bengtsson (electric guitar), Christian Kullberg (bass), and Klas Assarsson (drums). Together, they help take the listener on an audio road trip. Along with a sunny vibe that makes you want to smile. If that is not enough, there is an excellent Minimoog solo by Hallberg that is a delight to hear.
Lyrically, it is not as in-depth as his other songs. However, it is an excellent example that less is more. His words get time to breathe as they move along without any urgency. Its simplicity adds to the alluring charm of the story. Along with its soundtrack that matches the tone, it all comes together to create a must-hear listening experience. If this is a glimpse of what’s to come from Vargen’s album, then we are in for a treat. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long for its release!
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