Northern Sun Sessions – The Virginmarys   Leave a comment

Self released on 16th November 2018, the product of 10 months studio work, ‘Northern Sun Sessions’ is the new album from Macclesfield-based 2 piece, The Virginmarys. Following ‘Divides’ (produced and mixed by Gil Norton – Foo Fighters, Pixies) and debut ‘King Of Conflict’, vocalist/guitarist Ally Dickaty claims it’s his favourite work yet.

Known for their original style, The Virginmarys music is very real and true to life, in all its raw reality. For A.D., it’s a very personal vehicle, through which, all his own observations of and frustrations with life are conveyed.

‘NSS’, co-produced by A.D., at Preach Studios, Mark Winterburn, at Edge Studios, Kemble Walters, in LA and Mike Kalajian, Rogue Planet, New York, was recorded from June 2018, the hottest UK summer on record. The band feel this added to the positivity and uniqueness of the album.

Look Out For My Brother – Opening with a very bubblegum rock, early Oasis-esque sound, there’s an instant happy enthusiasm to this, taking you right back to the 90’s era of Northern Street rock. Very catchy, highly infectious and spreading cheerful contagion, with every note. Love it).

SOS4UNI – Shifting gear slightly, with a gentle acoustic intro now, before soon exploding back into that same sound. Brilliantly real, performed with a local accent and no pretence whatsoever. Even becoming gritty, as the effort and feeling becomes vocally audible. It’s just upbeat, nostalgic rock, which can’t fail to cheer.

Eye For An Eye – A deeper drum and riff sound opens, injecting a slight air of uncertainty. Pluckier strings add to the emphasis, but always, that explosion of all-encompassing world blocking music keeps it fresh. Accessible, long enough to devour and well produced, with obvious spark.

For The Two Of Us – Beautifully played chord intro, transporting it right back to that down-to-earth 90’s rock sound. It’s a very full sound, with such catchy vocals, a well-placed background echo and consistently good audio production. It just gets into you.

Blind Lead The Blind – Opening with a more mellow, contemplative vocal now, but it’s not long before the fullness of the explosive accompaniments returns. Bursting back onto the scene, with real sincerity, a massively catchy chorus and perfectly timed riff scales, blending with those increasingly hoarse vocals, there’s a rare breed of passion in here.

Get Me Back Home – Revved up riffs intro, with a distinctive steel string sound, adding some gorgeous slide, as the vocals bring that 90’s flavour of realism again and a bluesy emphasis enters the riffs. That blues tone stays, as the final notes are plucked, with perfect precision. Uplifting and truly sunny.

Northern Sun – Introing with a fairly ‘Civil War’-esque section, moving into a thoughtful vocal, pouring heart and genuine feeling into it, the chorus springs into life, surrounding the atmosphere with warmth and hope. Doing perfect justice to the title track, you can visualise the whole area just blowing up, into a happy snapshot of memories, as you hear this. Getting right into your soul, only the cold of heart and devoid of soul would fail to be moved by this.

Wanna Be Free – A single cymbal hit and some drum hits open, onto a spacious rocky landscape, through which you can breathe. Once again, those Oasis-esque vocals burst a hole in the atmosphere, adding a vague early Beatles sound, as the accompaniments match their enthusiasm perfectly, providing the final blowout.

Flags – Plucky riffs intro and the Brit rock sound of the 90’s enters again. Firing those vocals into the air, with passionate sincerity, in between the more contemplative sections, it rings out with feeling, as it conveys its message, before fading out, thoughtfully.

Step Up – Huge drum roll intro’s, moving instantly, back into the 90’s Brit rock, this time, with strong echoes of The Arctic Monkeys, only with more bite. The riffs do their thing easily, tight and loose in all the right places, with the bass coming in, with precision timing and it ends on a definitive riff and drum hit. Magic.

All Fall Down – A softer acoustic riff opens, with some gently hit cymbals and a gradually building vocal, for this finale. Introing a more melancholic note to the themes, arranging it into a rising aggression, with extraordinarily powerful grit, building, till the end, when the final drum hits and insistent riffs take hold. Solid and hugely effective.

Overall – This has truly blown me away. ‘Northern Sun Sessions ‘ is a force to be reckoned with and its power is utterly mind blowing. The grit and determination in the vocals alone is just tremendous, but for a 2 piece, The Virginmarys are tremendous and ‘NSS’ reflects that abundantly.

10/10 **********

For fans of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, The Beatles, Embrace, Pulp, The Stone Roses.

‘NSS’ can be pre-ordered from:


Posted October 7, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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