Experimental pop group Virginia Wing fulfills the promise of their early releases with this, their debut full-length.
Cinematic in scope, South London-based Virginia Wing’s full-length debut, Measures of Joy, is lush, experimental sophisti-pop that seeks to create a genre all its own, borrowing politely from myriad styles without ever firmly settling on one for any length of time. Often simultaneously rhythmically propulsive, instrumentally chaotic and soothingly subdued, theirs is a study in contrasts that makes for a compelling listening experience, the listener never entirely certain as to the direction songs will take.
This element of surprise, albeit subtle, and unpredictability works well for the group, lending the music an air of familiarity (Stereolab, Broadcast and even Blonde Redhead serve as easy touchstones) while still sounding new and fresh. Buzzing synths sit against the stoic lead vocals of Alice Merida Richards while complex rhythms and instrumental arrangements careen beneath, all wrapped in the aural equivalent of a warm blanket on a cold, rain-soaked afternoon. Measures of Joy exists as controlled chaos presented in a pop sheen.