by Steph Kolodka.
Between hearing a lot of good things about the Winnipeg-based musical group and their band name aligning with my star chart, I thought it an auspicious sign to check out Virgo Rising’s sophomore EP, Vampyre Year. The band, who is signed under the Winnipeg record label House of Wonders, consists of four members: Emily Sinclair (Vocals, Guitar), Lauren Wittmann (Bass, Keyboards), Jenna Wittmann (Guitar, Violin), and Isaac Tate (Drums, Percussion). Their last iconic album from 2021 was described as “bedroom-indie-rock,” and currently, they use tags such as “bedroom pop,” “alternative,” and “indie” on Bandcamp to describe their upcoming album.
The EP commences with a solid first track, “Shoes,” with minimal instrumentation and no percussion to start off the song, and then builds into an almost psychedelic vibe as the keyboards fade in. The vocals are whimsical despite a deep topic being portrayed in the lyrics.
The second track, “Tristan,” is one of my favourites on the EP. It begins with a nostalgic feeling emo riff with perfectly accompanied vocals that make me want to blast this song and sing along in the car on my daily commute to work. Percussion and a spacey synth riff round this song out to have me putting this tune on repeat.
The EP continues in an equally heartfelt fashion, with absolutely no filler, and every track makes a powerful statement. The lyrics on this album are emotional and relatable in many facets, and the single track “Nail Biter” was noted in the album release show announcement as being the band’s guide, or “North Star,” for creating the rest of the album, which indeed came together beautifully. “Nail Biter,” which features Liam Duncan (Boy Golden) on the banjo, foregrounds an emotional back story about childhood conflict with loved ones, matched with powerful building instrumentals to wrap up the album as the final track. This tune easily ranks as my other favourite on this EP.
Down to the well-thought-out instrumental title track that serves as a transition to the latter portion of the album to the catchiness of every single song, Vampyre Year is a lovely EP that I would happily add to my “Emo Shit” playlist on Spotify.