It’s been just over two years since Virginia’s Night Idea released their undeniably cheerful debut Paths. In their duly awaited follow up, Breathing Cold, the band depart from glee and venture towards a slightly darker backdrop.
Musically, the album is a feast of jazz-rich hooks and prog pastiche, adorned with a creative selection of additional instruments ranging from the beautiful keys scattered throughout ‘Wild’ and ‘Easy To Lie’, to the resonating strings closing the album in ‘Breathing Cold’. What is quite distinct throughout the album is the compelling and off-kilter interplay between guitars, which often become enmeshed and form complex melodic arrangements in tracks like ‘Silver Understanding’ (you may recall the band performing this on the back of a truck two years ago). The second half of the album marks an interesting turn for the band; here the sound becomes dark and ominous. The pounding guitar distortion in the closer, ‘Breathing Cold’, is aggressive and often cacophonous, as if the band have slowly guided our descent into madness.
Overall, Breathing Cold is an undoubtedly original and thoughtful piece of work, channeling a myriad of influences and intertwining them into one coherent beast, indeed one that becomes slightly more vicious with time. The album’s shift in narrative gives a sense of decay or dissociation, bearing interesting parallels with what appears to be the central idea of the album’s third track ‘Wild’. The song was ostensibly inspired by a piece of trash found in the woods by members of the band, and essentially describes man’s departure from the natural order of things, with vocalist Carter Burton singing ‘until we grow so uneven that…‘ and offering no answer.