South London four piece Virginia Wing's debut album promises some slinky and dream-like electronic pop which owes debts to early Krautrock, revered Brum legends Broadcast and the Radiophonic pioneers of wibbly otherworldly electronics. Also see the trance-like post-punk rhythmic drive of, say, This Heat. 'Measures of Joy' is certainly a hazy montage of moody electronics, dreamily sung and sometimes spoken vocals, with subtle musique concrete influences. Indespensible, one of the best 43 minutes of the year. Proper full review to follow shortly but this crystalline beauty could creep onto a couple of end-of-year lists.
Vinyl LP £15.99 FIRELP389DLX
Deluxe Orange and blue split colour vinyl LP on Fire. Includes download for 2 bonus tracks.
Wow, Brian isn't kidding. Not sure I'll be refunding anyone's postage if they disagree, but this is a very smart album. *makes mental note to include in forthcoming yearly top ten*
A prime example of a band getting gradually better, stronger and more defined to the point that they deliver that "stunning debut album" is found in the career thus far of Camberwell, London outfit Virginia Wing. I'm unsure whether they actually number three or four currently but that is beside the point as a couple of minutes into 'Measures of Joy' I'm actually welling up with a huge measure of it. Beginning with a murky field recording leading into a ponderous bass and brush drum amble, the female singer (whose name I cannot easily source online) then glides into earshot, her vocals multi-tracked and echoed over the course of this quite schizophrenic opening track that explodes and implodes at will and rapidly introduces you to their remarkable sound vistas.
It's so easy to make comparisons but the glowing press for this album so far is actually spot on. This is propulsive electronically drenched dream rock of a supreme quality. There's something here for anyone who loves such artists as early Broadcast, Death and Vanilla and Ela Orleans but also check their skeletal post-punk rhythms, nods to contemporary widescreen krautrock such as Camera or even the sparse embryonic rock cuttings from the Factory Floor. This Heat have been name checked somewhere too; I can second that, Electrelane a little too. I certainly hear a lot of fascinating sonic debris scattered around amongst the stunning future rock framework.
So, It's simple to spot the references but 'MOJ' is no pastiche of anything; it has it's own fiercely passionate agenda. I state this because oh, the quality and scope of this record is really quite something. It rocks, it's exciting and brilliantly produced, confident enough to strut right up to your face and poke you inquisitively in the face. Surprisingly cosmic and freeform in nature at times, flowering into vibrant cinematic forms then dissolving back down brittle, exploratory conduits. When fizzing, glistening electronics, weird decayed synth lines and pure urgent grooves meet.....a fine singer with a nice range of moods. When the drums burst into action they're sharp, dense and tumblesome. I dare anyone to tell me this record isn't a bit of a treasure. I never want the 43 minutes to end. So on it goes again.
One of the best from the thoroughly re-engaged Fire of London in years and in my top ten of the year like a shot. If you buy this and don't like it I will pay your return post to send it back. That's how much I believe in this thoroughly excellent album. I can't give it any less than full marks I seriously love it that much.
9/10 david 27th November 2014
Measures of Joy is the almost the plenitude of Virginia Wing to achieve perfection. Electric avant-garde pop with retro-future components with a contemporary vision and an aesthetically polished sound. Guitars, synths and rhythms improving their integration in comparision with their previous cassette single, 7" single and 12" ep. So, if you like new adventures in pop, as Mahogany, Vitesse-The New Lines, The Leaf Library, Brasilia, Broadcast or Fabulous Diamonds have tried, Virginia Wing will be satisfying your wintry ears.
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- Measures Of Joy by Virginia Wing
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