First things first, Manchester based Virginia Wing – now a trio following the addition of Christopher Duffin – know how to get close to us when they make a record. Whilst 2018’s Ecstatic Arrow was recorded in view of the Swiss Alps, it’s successor found the various band members working “At home, in our tracksuit bottoms”. They haven’t however seen fit to comment on how much the waistbands of their leisurewear have expanded since moving about too much became another society’s problem.
Private LIFE isn’t a pandemic record, it’s one about existing in 2020, a year in which adaption had us reverting back to our more primal instincts of flight rather than fight. Refracting back through this haze and making sense has proved harder than you’d think, but Alice Media Richards and co. have at least armed themselves well, taking direction from the work of icons such as Prince, The Slits and Timbaland.
What spills out of Private LIFE is work that attempts a subjective gauging of our seesaw existence during the previous twelve months, from the elegant synth-pop of I Know About These Things to the less accessible, jazz-inflected Moon Turns Tides and 99 North. Like this and much of the other art-cultural bricolage of the era, how much of it’s oblique commentary will make sense half a decade from now is unknowable, but Virginia Wing’s ambiguity suite is never less than absorbing.
You can read the full review here.