The Virgins Dance Through 'Flashbacks, Memories and Dreams' - Song Premiere

The New York rockers grow up on their second record

Adly Elewa
February 6, 2013 8:00 AM ET

Click to listen to The Virgins' 'Flashbacks, Memories and Dreams'

The New York indie-rockers the Virgins are set to release Strike Gently, the follow-up to their 2008 self-titled debut, on March 12th. It's the first record to be released on Julian Casablancas' label, Cult Records, and now you can take a listen to its new single, "Flashbacks, Memories and Dreams," an edgy dance-punk number with a supple funk bass groove, street-noir vibe and skittish guitar licks.

"We all went in not knowing what to expect, but it was important for me to make the record I wanted to make, something more personally meaningful," singer-songwriter Donald Cumming tells Rolling Stone. "I would write the songs and bring them in and we would all start playing on them. We'd start on a song and it would just be chords and lyrics and it would fill out very intuitively."

Strike Gently is decidedly less dance-pop and disco than its predecessor, and "Flashbacks, Memories and Dreams" was one of the last tracks recorded for it. "The single on the record is pretty much straight performance. There's so much crazy shit happening and it's got so much nuance, you can never play it the same way twice. Every time we play it, it's kind of fun and we wonder if we'll get through it," says Cumming. The single is also a bit more upbeat than the rest of the album, which balances smooth, Dire Straits-style romantic guitar rhythms and lower-register vocals with choppy, lo-fi elements.

As Cumming notes of the band's path, "The first record was pretty conceptual; we were trying to make a pop record. But I've grown a little and wanted to narrow in on what I cared the most about. It was important for these songs to reflect what I'm interested in now."

The Virgins will kick-off a monthlong tour on March 13th. 

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »