Nordic Soft Rock Ballads, 101: “The Bitch In Me”, by Vargen
Vargen is the stage and recording name of acclaimed Bob Dylan interpreter and singer-songwriter Reine Johansson, who has recently been making strides in the music industry with debut Sånger från natten, sånger från Dan featuring new music set to Swedish author Dan Andersson’s (1888-1920) darker poems. Vargen’s latest release, “The Bitch In Me” is a slow rock ballad that effortlessly weaves together smooth, flowing vocals and impressive production, with a particular emphasis on the rhythm guitar, while still retaining that unmistakable Nordic landscape to the presentation and sound. Keep reading for my thoughts!
The song comes off as polished and theme-devoted from the first second, immediately charming the listener with a soft rock-and-roll aura that gently envelops them as the seconds roll on and the bars cross away. The vocals take the centre stage for this part of the song, complimented very closely by the rhythm guitar section before the mix opens up into a richer chorus section with wafty pads and synths that kept me engaged.
All this foreplay for it to lead to a sultry guitar mini-solo around the second minute seems warranted– because the solo in question is great, and masterfully executed. The production has depth, layering, and the kind of polish that quite chuffed me– with the pieces of ear candy like the electronic piano dinging around at various points of the song yielded a dimension of depth and meticulousness that I came to quite appreciate over the course of the song.
The mix and master is done excellently, with all the elements in the perfect place to create the dynamics balance between the minimalistically produced verse sections to the energetic, wide chorus sections. The energy is exceptionally balanced, and contributes greatly to making this song sound cohesive and welcoming to one’s mind.
Overall, Vargen has a banger with “The Bitch In Me”! Check out the song here!