Have you ever listened to a song that’s essence has had the power to take control over your entire being? The heat of the music resonates within. The beat pulsates beneath your skin, and you move like you didn’t know you could. It is what love feels like, or at least what it should feel like. Almost every song from Danish band Vinnie Who’s latest album Midnight Special did exactly this to me when I first heard it. I have to admit, it wasn’t quite as powerful the second and third time, but that doesn’t change the unforgiving truth that saw my kitchen turn into an 80s discothèque on a Sunday afternoon.
Midnight Special is definitely a disco revival album. Smothered in colorful layers of synthesized sound, the upbeat punchy rhythms are perfectly complimented by front man Niels Bagge Hansen’s soft, dreamy and feminine vocals. Nostalgia for the 80s comes hand in hand. After listening to it for the second time I had a distinct craving to listen to the Bee Gees and watch Saturday Night Fever. That is the success of this album; it essentially could have been produced in the 80s if you didn’t know any better.
Vinnie Who, consisting of Hansen and his six-piece band, performed during Copenhagen Fashion Week AW13 not long before this album was released and this is where my love story began. Their performance was nothing less than magical and the hit single How Could I be Sure, released as a part of the Midnight Special, certainly lingers in the mind. It’s the best track of the album by far, and if you find it to be capturing through earphones, then I suggest you see them live. Hansen possesses an indescribable presence that makes you melt, gender regardless. Sure, we’d had a few cocktails, but in fact it felt more like a few joints. The audience as a whole were wide-eyed and utterly mesmerized. Hansen was the magician and we had been cast under his spell. When a band has this effect on a large group of people simultaneously, you begin to understand how cults are formed. I think we would have followed him over the edge of a cliff in that moment, if that were what it had come to. Luckily it didn’t, and the spell simply saw us dancing the night away in bounds of endless energy to the sounds of the eclectic range of both analogue and digital instruments.
Midnight Special has a very consistent and distinctive sound to it overall, making it easy to place inside a box. Each song flows easily into the next, but the question that remains is whether each of these songs, apart from a select few, are distinctive enough on their own. Nevertheless, it is certainly a memorable album as an entity and I have a feeling it’s magnetic charm will find me drawn toward it again and again.