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This is Pop Download-o-rama

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Music Reviews

New Music on the Everything is Pop Radar

The Virgins
The Virgins
Atlantic Records

“Then, one fine mornin', she puts on a New York station
You know, she couldn't believe what she heard at all
She started shakin' to that fine, fine music
You know, her life was saved by rock'n'roll”

Rock and Roll
The Velvet Underground

I’ve always been struck by the uncomplicated power of Lou Reed’s youthful expression in that stanza. Expectant and dutifully iconic I was reminded of this (in the best possible way) as I listened to the debut release by the Virgins. Although it’s unlikely this record will save your life, it will make it a whole lot more enjoyable. This Big Apple based four piece have released a very good ‘summer’ record. Not one for tanning in the sun, this is the one you wait for in the wee small hours on a dark street corner. The one they put on as the real parties start and the darkness is punched by dueling car stereos. This is a record that drips as much of humidity as it does sexuality. Forty years on fine, fine music, girls, and drugs just refuse to go out of style.

The Virgins debut album is one deeply informed by the city from which it came. It really feels like a New York record. The music is angular, funky and marinated in a variety of music styles, the lyrics anxious and hormonal. From disco to punk to new wave this one covers a lot of musical territory. The disaffected vocals of singer Donald Cumming’s the perfect counterpoint. Tracks like the Chic influenced Rich Girls and Love is Colder than Death are catchy and impressive.

The Virgins is a terrific debut to be certain but their second release will be the telling one. Amalgamating their influences to forge their own distinctive hybrid will spell success. If they do it right and they’ll be playing on a lot more than that New York station.


UPDATE: The mighty have a newly recorded session from the Virgins posted now. As always I recommend you add this to your download agenda. It’s a good one.

Young and Sexy

The Arc
Mint Records

Vancouver’s Young and Sexy are the beauty and truth antithesis to the previously mentioned Virgins The former, all sunshine and unhurried musicianship, a shimmering pop four piece with a mean slide guitar and reverb effects to spare. The Arc is the disc you put on coming back from the beach with the setting sun at your back. Both bands are fun, to be sure but they do have distinctly different intentions. Four albums and ten years in now Young and Sexy know their direction well. Using Beach Boy style harmonies, textured guitar and even the occasional orchestral flourish their crafted ‘indie’ pop production is top notch; And on the Arc, they do it better than they ever have before.

This music can not help but warm the surroundings. Co-vocalist Lucy Brain’s wonderful vocals suit the well crafted pop and work to really set this band apart from other 'indie' comers. She is a true highlight on this record and the energy on Young & Sexy Vs. The Arc is palpable. With summer upon us now I can’t think of a better soundtrack.



DD said...

Very, very cool selections. I really like the Rich Girl single on their Myspace page.

Is it out in Canada yet?

Sean Wraight said...

Yes. You can find both in your favourite local record shop or through online services.


Cheryl Montag said...

Thank god you didn't call them nu wave. They don't deserve that paint brush.

Great band. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

These both sound like perfect summer listening records.


Curious Georgette said...

It only makes sense the Virgins would be better second time around.

Will they be the ex-Virgins then? Old and Sexy?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm looking forward to giving these both a thorough listening, although, not being a Beach Boys fan, I was a little leery that you used that comparison with Young and Sexy. But I'll keep an open mind.

Sean Wraight said...

Barb you really have to give Pet Sounds a listen. It is the most perfect of records. It will remain one of all time favourites simply because it runs the gambit of emotions when I hear it.

Truly great genius stuff.


samiam said...

I think I know what records I'll be buying to get me set for summer.

Thanks for pointing me there.


Anonymous said...

That Virgins stuff is fucken great!~