Virna Lindt is more an apparition than a musician. Her compositions lend themselves to immediate daydreams, bending the present into a simpler shape with softer edges. "The first time I heard this song I was on a balcony while a typhoon was coming into town and a potted plant fell off and smashed in the courtyard four stories below my feet," writers the publisher of the Underwater Boy YouTube video. "I smoked a cigarette which lasted the exact length of this song, and as the rain came in I felt at peace with the weather." It's true that Underwater Boy, and Virna's creations in general, force open a new but familiar space of concentration. The first time I truly listened to Virna without the need to be open to other factors, people, locations, I was sitting on a bench on a train platform, squinting through the cold. An elderly woman dressed in all white glowed on the other side, and as soon as my train took me away I missed her.
While 'I Experienced Love' is undoubtedly breezier than earlier releases (which recalled Virna in her cream trench coat, scowling through the rain), it lacks none of the mystery of Shiver. Influenced by the reggae/tropicalia monsoon that swept through the UK and Europe in the late '70s by way of post-punk priestess Vivien Goldman, 'I Experienced Love' tells the story of summer love from the hesitant participant. Virna is still barely there, hidden behind the screen, but this time the weather is warmer and the air smells like tangerines.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden in the early-mid '80s, Virna disappeared without a trace by the time the '90s rolled around, with its loud flannel, acid grunge, and general distaste for mystery. Apart from a sprinkling of reissues in 2007, Virna has never played a US show post-Y2K, and exists somewhere between a Bergman film set on a Northern island with at least one lighthouse, and a distant future where the music is quieter.
By Lauren Ball