By Alexa Peters | Published April 2021
On Midnight Shelter, the pairing of Sachal Vasandani’s achingly tender voice and Romain Collin’s expansive piano is a needed sonic embrace during a time of disconnect.
Vasandani is emotionally expos-ed on much of Midnight Shelter, while Collin leaves space in his accompaniment, so he and the vocalist can sustain notes through vulnerable silences. The pair says this interplay was an intentional commentary on our current isolation from one another, adding incredible emotional depth and relevance to the album. On “Summer No School,” which depicts the quiet agony of someone secretly in love, Vasandani delivers a simple vocal treatment. But with the specificity of his descriptions—down to the sun on the back of his lover’s neck—the vocalist shows just how he pines for this person’s attentions. Collin, at the song’s emotional climax, sustains dissonant, dense chords to emphasize that yearning. In the end, Midnight Shelter has a slow, surreal quality about it—much like our lives during the pandemic. The pair exhibits a sensitive musicality and intuitive sense of collaboration as they take listeners into songs riddled with scenes that capture many sides of human relationships.
Midnight Shelter: Summer No School; Before You Go; Adore You; River Man; Great Ocean Road; Throw It Away; Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right; Love Away; Blackbird; Dance Cadaverous; One Last Try. (42:124)
Personnel: Sachal Vasandani, vocals; Romain Collin, piano.