Pledge of Allegiance: A Listen To Vows From Virgins

Blessed with vocal goddesses who emit catwalk confidence in their spangled frequencies without ever trying, alternative artistic women rule supreme. Having lent her vocals to past members of The Specials and Dexys Midnight Runners, Brook-Valentine Lorimer already wears her starlet name well and channels her fascination with the likes of Alison Goldfrapp and Beth Gibbons into her own sound tinklings. Lorimer linked with pal Michael Smyth and the pair perform as Virgins: a new Belfast shoegaze duo.

Musically ambidextrous Smyth typically spends his days as the guitarist of alt-rockers Paper Tigers - also featuring on label Blowtorch Records alongside Virgins. Previously he drummed for Tusks and THVS, but tending to a dewy urge, he began writing lyrics, composing melodies and playing with a fusion of instruments.

His new sound was close to completion there but needed a specific type of voice; step up Brook, who Michael knew from partying way back when in the carefree days of youth. Fate generously did the rest, orchestrating a chance meeting years later, leading to the deliverance of single Vows with Jonny Woods of Wynona Bleach recording and producing the track while providing all their bass needs. Smyth delves,

"Vows is an ethereal warning against being coerced into actions simply to appease the needs and wants of others when these couldn't be any further from your own desires. Like being warned in a weightless dream, through a haze of colour and smoke. Then trying to retain that knowledge when you awaken in your own hazy reality."

Never shy of modifying sound distribution and levels, the 90s indie and untarnished gorge melody are poured into a dry ice machine, sublimating into a smoked waterfall trickling around the head, springing off invisible walls back into the ear. The drawl of the guitar fits with the echoing voice like hot melted butter sliding down a knife achieving the short state between sleep and awakeness and the uncertainty of what is true. Michael reasons,

"Musically, the track is equally dense and beautiful. Guitars drenched in layers of fuzz and reverb dovetail, creating a melting wall of sound with beautiful bell-like chimes. Brook's vocals are a whisper in your ear from a long-forgotten ghost laden with regret, melancholia and a desire to return to a more innocent time."

Article by Beverley Knight