Virgins, a staple of Belfast’s shoegaze scene, have just released their new gaze-pop single, ‘s l o w l y, l o n g’.


Virgins, a staple of Belfast’s shoegaze scene, have just released their new gaze-pop single, ‘s l o w l y, l o n g’. This follows their critically acclaimed debut EP, ‘transmit a little heaven’ which garnered them praise from Chordblossom, Dig With It and The Thin Air, to name a few. Now, in time for their headline slot at GazeFest this August, their new single gives some insight into the incredible direction the band is taking with their music.

Virgins consists of Brendy McCann on bass, Michael Smyth and Dave Sloans on guitar, James Foys on drums and fantastic vocals by Rebecca Dows. The new single also has collaborator Jonny Woods (Wynona Bleach) at the helm of production and sound engineering, helping to form the beautiful eclectic sound that is so integral to this track.

‘s l o w l y, l o n g’ is a delightfully dynamic track. It opens with fast-paced drumbeats and guitar which contrast with Rebecca’s slower, relaxed vocals. Her voice is hushed and accompanied by an ethereal echo which solidifies how transcendent this song feels.
Michael and David’s layered guitars are soaked in reverb and utilise a tremolo-picked lead guitar line which is particularly captivating. This develops into a an incredible solo following a gentle lull, perfectly filled out by James’ energetic drumming that builds a feeling of anticipation for the song to continue.

This single embraces a pop-centric melody, especially in the chorus, which is evident in how Rebecca’s vocals intensify during this section to deliver an emotive yet catchy story of intense, unchecked desire. This track fuses a variety of genres; While Virgins have their feet firmly rooted in shoegaze, this track has a grungy element to it, with a driven uplifting guitar riff and a steady drumbeat which provide a certain weight and depth to the dreamy atmosphere. The heavier, driving nature of James’ drums, accompanied by an electric combination of guitar riffs are reminiscent of Slow Crush and perfectly portray how the band draw on their respective influences to create a collaborative, contemporary sound.

Further musical influences can be heard in the production. Throughout the song, the heavy reverb is accompanied by an octave effect which creates an almost ‘glistening’ feeling to the sound. This is reminiscent of Whirr, whose rock/postgaze sound is comparable to that of Virgins’.

Throughout the track there is a captivating baseline from McCann that acts as an undercurrent to the track, beautifully deepening the sound. It’s the kind of bass I can almost feel thrumming through my entire body, as if standing next to a speaker blasting the track. ‘s l o w l y, l o n g’ really transports me to another world when listening, making me increasingly eager to hear this performed live at GazeFest this month.

You can listen to ‘slowly, long’ on all streaming services now!

If, like me, you’re yearning to hear this song live, you can come to see Virgins at GazeFest in Dublin and Belfast this August.


Review: Molly Cushinan