The Upshot: Dream pop and psychedelia that is ultimately part fractured fairytale and part futuristic nightmare.
BY JONATHAN LEVITT
Virginia Wing, who hail from Camberwell, England, have created something unsettling and totally memorable on their latest album, Forward Constant Motion, that plays as part fractured fairytale and part futuristic nightmare. The music on the surface has a dream pop vibe to it, but is actually far more psychedelic than I had expected, which excited as much as it confounded. More importantly the numbers that attracted me were the highly edited ones.
Take the amazing “Permaboss” and “Hammer a Nail”: both tracks are the aural equivalent of the strobe affect. The two songs stun and contort and then are shredded into slices of punctuated electronic mayhem. Both of these songs come much later in the album and are the buried treasure that rewards the listener if you stick with it. Mind you, this is not an easy listen, but that’s a good thing here because what the Camberwell duo (down from trio status) have stripped the music down to a periodic chart of elemental electronic emanations. Here the vocals are unlike anything I’ve heard as of late. At moments they sound familiar, but then on a track like “Grapefruit” they are hallucinatory, wan, and alien. “Miserable World’s” synths are a full tilt homage to Suicide, primal, kinetic and feel like a loaded gun pointed at your head.
I like what the band have done on this record. By not serving up familiar musical touchstones the band have risked plenty but the payoff is a work of art that is brimming with aural intensity and potent creativity, just begging for a listen.
DOWNLOAD: “Permaboss” “Hammer a Nail” “Move On” “Sonia and Claudette”