Virgo Rising are a bit of an enigma
Virgo Rising are the type of artists that come along once in a while and shake shit up a bit. They are a group that seamlessly fold elements of new and old, the familiar and the nostalgic, the bitter and the bright and all of the gorgeously faded shades in between into their music.
Poppy, their new EP is like a catalyst for looking back to look forwards, in fact it’s a fairly apt cross section of that part of our culture that likes to revamp and revive the old, contextualizing and moulding it to fit into our present. That time is the time just a little before our own; before we all knew that smoking and drinking heavily was bad for us (and did it anyway), when skinny leg jeans were just ‘jeans’ and when clashing prints, hawaiian shirts and unkempt facial hair was initially cool (before it was NOT, and before it was hot).
Bitterblossom, the opening track on the EP is my favourite, it sounds like it’s cloaked in a smouldering haze of cigarette smoke and is reminiscent of both Mazzy Star and the Psychadelic Furs. In fact most of the tracks sound like they would be perfectly at home in the era of Pretty in Pink.
With a melancholy so piercing that it sometimes pokes holes in your soul, Poppy appeals to masochist in all of us at times. In other moments, particularly in Tangerine and the title-track, the lighter notes of optimism sparkle and bloom, nudging the EP back into the safer realm of bittersweet. Overall it exudes a raw fuzziness that I’m tempted to name ‘vintage indie’ for its unapologetically glitchy style that somehow manages to remain original.
Virgo Rising’s Sean, Wes, Raeina & Emily describe their sound as ‘shoe gaze summer pop’. With more than a hint of alternate gothic sound underlying their tracks it’s no surprise that their influences include Joy Division, New Order, The Doors and Velvet Underground. Other than though, the group remains a little bit of an enigma, choosing to take the grassroots-and-passion approach to creating and sharing their tunes.
Review by Jess Matthews.