Virgin Of The Birds is the solo project of Jon Rooney, the primary individual behind Abandoned Love Records. His latest project is a slew of EPs available from the ALR website, the first of which is Every Rival.
On Every Rival Rooney continues the eclectic folk rock stylings apparent on the prior Virgin Of The Birds EP, Mixed Choir. The two years that have passed since the summer 2007 release of that EP can be heard in songs like “Ilona, You Should Still Be My Vampire Attendant”. In other words, Rooney’s ability to craft song and lyric alike have improved tremendously.
Every Rival takes Virgin Of The Birds in a new direction instrumentally. Rooney adds a plethora of instruments, from various vintage-sounding keys to simple pianos to tambourine in songs like title track “Every Rival”. But he’s not above maintaining stripped-down acoustic/vocal only moments throughout the album, but these moments are just that, and they’re quickly swallowed by supporing instrumentation that add great depth to the songs.
Every Rival is an exciting piece of work, one all fans of light folk will appreciate. Rooney’s grate-y Dan Bejar-esque vocals are its perfect accompaniment. As the closing moments of “Lessons Learned In Turkish Valleys” near, one cannot help but long for more. And once they arrive, one is simply drawn back to the beginning — the soft, lounge-folk of “I Loved John” — to take the trip one more time.
Virgin Of The Birds: Ilona, You Should Still Be My Vampire Attendant [mp3]
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Abandoned Love Records [Digital EP, 2009]
1. I Loved John
2. Ilona, You Should Still Be My Vampire Attendant
3. From Peking
4. Every Rival
5. Lesson Learned In Turkish Valleys