The Virgance is a dream pop/ambient/shoegaze recording project of Nathan Smith, who is from a very small town called Acton, in the county of Suffolk, England. He’s a part of the Portuguese web-only label El Vals Del Conejo. That label is also home to This is That Song alumni Flying Cape Experience.
Smith released his first album (Lost Continent) in February of 2014, then another (Hiko Shrine) this January. The third album (Paradigm 3) will be released on September 21. One of its tracks features guest vocals by Shauna McLarnon from the Canadian/Ukrainian dream pop/shoegaze duo Ummagma. She sent me an email about the new Virgance album, and I liked it right away.
A lot of labels and PR firms and lazy journalists will haphazardly throw around references to Slowdive but it’s not often that something really does remind me of them. The first half of this song is sort of distant and foggy. Very atmospheric and dream-like. In that way, I’m certainly reminded of Slowdive’s first album Just For a Day). The second half of the song gets much bigger and noisier and makes a shift from dream pop to shoegaze. It’s pretty cool how it happens.
This is that song.
“Sequester” by The Virgance
I’m a really big fan of the atmospheric parts. There’s so much delay and reverb and all that good stuff, so the guitars just become a steady stream of rolling waves and undertow. Most of the rest of that album sounds like that, and to an extent it’s even drone-y. There’s something mysterious and haunting and just-out-of-reach about it.
You can get a digital download of Paradigm 3 via bandcamp by naming your own price here.