Aug 11th, 2023
The first album by Soul Tune Allstars proved they are a force to be reckoned with. For second album The Soul Of The Viking, Swedish producer and bandleader Niclas Wretelid has teamed up with Finnish guitarist Mikko Räisänen from the band Chicken Grass to produce 11 tracks of powerful wah wah soul and flute funk.
Nic and Mikko were introduced on Instagram by Waxvillain and immediately hit it off in the name of music. Mikko brings a fresh sound and groove to Nic’s compositions and Nic does the same to Mikko’s with his fender rhodes, organ and drum sounds.
The Soul Of The Viking starts off with a stunning intro that immediately sets the tone for the album. Mikko and Nic’s fruitful collaboration is particularly evident in all the instrumentals, such as the funky “Drop it” and the dreamy sounds of “Sweet And Sour”.
But the vocal tracks are equally compelling, such as 70’s blaxploitation homage “Looking For Trouble” that features super soul star Carlton Jumel Smith. Both Niclas and Carlton wanted to pay tribute to the blaxploitation sound, so they dived into that 70s soundscape and created a tribute to that era. If you close your eyes while listening, it’s almost like you’re in a movie…
Or check out the deep soul of “Oh Your Love” that sees super talented West Coast soul sister Maria Sanchez flexing her vocal chops. Maria is an outstanding singer who writes mellow and slow love songs, and this song was written specifically with her voice in mind. In her own words, this is: “a soulful ballad that describes how a love between two could bring a ‘life of gold’ if given the opportunity”.
The album also sees the participation of a number of friends. Old friends such as singer songwriter Desmond Foster and sax player Johan Håkansson, who always delivers pure soul, or new friends like flute player Olli Tuomainen and talented background vocalist Cecilia Mörnhed.
What remains constant throughout the 11 tracks of The Soul Of The Viking is a sound that is tight, authentic, and oh so groovy. Without question, these Vikings have got soul!
‘The Soul Of The Viking’ out on CD / LP / Digital on Aug 11th 2023 via Soul Tune