Virgil Blue has released his debut EP entitled “Pain Of Loss”. Inspired and influenced by Prince and Sade, Virgil, a multi-instrumentalist who started out making music at the age of six, when he picked up the saxophone, produced much of the music that can be heard on this EP. Virgil who recently moved from the suburbs of Detroit to LA has put together 6 smooth trance-like tracks that that flaunts ambient, RnB and trip-hop flavors. If you’re looking for something atmospheric and hypnotizing, then this recording may be of serious interest to you. Fragile, tender and soulful, Virgil Blue’s voice will drag you through sensual, moody and melancholic soundscapes.
Sometimes you get the impression that Virgil Blue wants to drag you into some corner of a back room somewhere and wrap you in a strait-jacket. Claustrophobic, obsessive, introspective and haunting by turns, Virgil takes an evolutionary step away from current mainstream playfulness to a stripped-to-the-emotional-bones approach; all led by his ethereal, wavering and processed vocal mixes which you can savor from the very first track “Lxst”.
Upon first listen, it’s clear to see that Virgil Blue isn’t trying to win anyone over with anything other than his songwriting.
Subtle instrumental flares and gentle displays of musical virtuosity is noticeable throughout “Pain Of Loss”, without ever overwhelming the rest of the arrangements, leaving lots of room for the vocals to be damn impressive in their slow-burning echo chambers on both “Vagabond” and “Unavailable”.
This exquisite aggregation of voice and music lends a dense, profound quality to the sonics: gorgeous washes of sound, such as the track “My Contraband Song” is both hearteningly intense and possessed of the kind of piquant, clear-eyed melody that Prince would have coveted.
“Polaris” is marvelously composed work of blended ambiance and lo-fi shoegaze, dreamily spacey, and blissfully noisy; it makes a very strong case for being the most eclectic track on the EP.
The final slot on the EP has been reserved for its catchiest, most accessible and endearing track – “Sweet Release”, which will sweep you away with its lush melody and soaring vocals. If I had to choose one song to introduce Virgil Blue to an unknowing crowd, it would without a doubt be this one.
Virgil Blue is a creative and often experimental artist, so you’re going to hear the presence of some dynamic tension in these tracks, valleys rising to peaks, and brief periods of sustained explosiveness. And yes, you’re going to hear gorgeously wistful vocals, backed by soundscapes filtered through a variety of effects to create a moving tapestry of sound.
Imagine leaping down a waterfall in slow motion, finally splashing through the bustling waters below to continue to swim exhaustingly down the river until you eventually fall asleep on the shore drained of all energy and waiting for the warming rays of the sun to revive you.
Listening to “Pain Of Loss” means that you are undertaking Virgil Blue not only on a musical level, but a contagiously expressive and emotionally draining one as well.