Virgo Rising like to describe themselves as “four sad people making songs in Winnipeg,” but those familiar with the band know that this undersells the scope and depth of their vision. By attending a show or hearing their recordings, a listener can discern what the members themselves wouldn’t likely admit; their music is daring, their instincts are sharp, and they have a masterful grasp on exactly what it is they’re trying to create. Emily Sinclair, Lauren and Jenna Wittmann, and Isaac Tate carefully construct bedroom pop unconstrained by convention; while weaving together themes of growing up, femininity, self-love, self-contempt, and authenticity, they make sure that each song lives in its own sonic space, unafraid to end up in unexpected places doing so.
The band’s debut EP, Sixteenth Sapphire, made a rare and beautiful splash when it arrived in 2021 on House of Wonders Records. Their brand of knotted, intricate pop that’s “equal parts pretty and primal” (Kaelen Bell, Exclaim!) found a devoted audience — the recordings racked up over 125,000 Spotify streams, garnered critical acclaim, and led the band to receive the most coveted of accolades for a group of Winnipeggers— a Blundstone sponsorship.
The fact that the EP’s success occurred during pandemic lockdowns somewhat obscured the path forward for the band. Other than a few shows, the band took a hiatus from much activity in 2022, with their only recorded appearance a feature on Yes We Mystic’s final album Trust Fall. Now, on Valentines’ Day 2023, Virgo Rising returns with their first proper release in almost two years — a cover of Big Thief’s Real Love.
“Big Thief is a big inspiration to us,” says Emily Sinclair, the band’s lead singer and guitarist. “We were drawn to Real Love for its raw and dynamic energy, and the fresh and emotional perspective it gives as a love song. As well, it was the first cover we ever played as a four piece, so it holds a special place in our hearts.”
The recording reunites the band with Sixteenth Sapphire producer Adam Fuhr (Yes We Mystic, JayWood, Amos the Kid), with mastering from Cam Loeppky (The Weakerthans, The Constantines). Expect more to come from Virgo Rising in 2023.
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