Banquet Years is the third EP in a digital-only series of releases by Seattle-by-way-of-Austin’s Jon Rooney, the Virgin Of The Birds mastermind and proprietor of Abandoned Love Records. The album, containing five songs, finds Rooney further expanding his capabilities and musicianship. Opening track “Let Me Be Your Bride” demonstrates his folk-versatility, from the 60s-era bass guitar bop to the borderline experimental tinkering on the keys. Not to mention, the wicked guitar-work radiating in emotive psychedelic hypnosis.
From Virgin Of The Birds’ early days, the band had a very Dan Bejar-esque sound. While the reverberating echo in experimental-ish guitar still hints at that influence, and Rooney’s vocal styling has a similar flare, Banquet Years is heading in a new direction. It was hinted in last year’s Dear Furies and Every Rival, but it’s now ever more apparent. “There Is A Wide Road” finds Rooney harmonizing with himself, while virtually all songs feature consistent shakers, which give them a laid-back shuffle.
“She’s In The Moon Again” is Rooney’s ode to the curse word, of which he uses many. And “Every Revelry” is a heavier, harder tune with a full drum beat and a heightened pace. The guitar and keys dominate in excellence while Rooney’s vocals are front and center.
I feel quite surprised to say this, as the first two installments of VotB’s series of digital EPs were quite solid. Virgin Of The Birds have really outdone themselves with Banquet Years. It’s quite easily their most accomplished work yet. I love the intense indie folk sound Rooney has begun associating with Virgin Of The Birds. It’s not quite lo-fi but has some of those qualities. Let’s hope Virgin Of The Birds keeps this up — I can’t wait to hear more!
Download: “Let Me Be Your Bride” by Virgin Of The Birds
[audio:100312-virgin-of-the-birds-let-me-be-your-bride.mp3|titles=Let Me Be Your Bride|artists=Virgin Of The Birds]
Download: “Every Revelry” by Virgin Of The Birds
[audio:100312-virgin-of-the-birds-every-revelry.mp3|titles=Every Revelry|artists=Virgin Of The Birds]
Abandoned Love Records [Digital EP, 2010]
1. Let Me Be Your Bride
2. Every Revelry
3. She’s In The Moon Again
4. There Is A Wild Road
5. A Chimera You Can Trust