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'Vincent's Playlist' Review: Virginia Trance's new LP is laidback, kick-off-your-shoes relaxation and psychedelia

Davis had an idea to record some songs that were on the back burner, but to infuse a more personal sound which would turn out into straightforward pop tunes with a rough edge
Scott Ryan Davis (Press Handout)
Scott Ryan Davis (Press Handout)

Alternative-indie outfit Virginia Trance (aka Scott Ryan Davis's musical project) have released their new studio album 'Vincent's Playlist' on May 8. The album follows their third and final single from the LP, 'Some People' which released on April 24. For those into bands like The Clean, The Bats, or other hazy jangle-pop bands such as Felt, Real Estate or The Dream Syndicate, the new album may just be the next record you are looking for. 

After his eponymously named debut album on the record label BYM, "Scott Ryan Davis returns with an engaging record that sprawls on early proto-punk and garage jangle that resemble the easier, yet jagged sounds of The Velvet Underground, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and 80s alternative rock staple Flying Nun Records," a press statement reads. 

Davis had an idea to record some songs that were on the back burner, but to infuse a more personal sound which would turn out into straightforward pop tunes with a rough edge. After a couple of sessions throughout the spring of last year, Davis was joined by old Psychic Ills bandmates Chris Millstein and Jimy Seitang for the rhythm section on 'Vincent's Playlist'.

They quickly went on to record at Second Base studio, with engineer and mixer RJ Gordon (who also worked on the first album). "The songs unfold as naturally as they were conceived; they come tumbling out easily and without beating around the bush," the statement said.

Virginia Trance - 'Vincent's Playlist' cover art (Press Handout)

'High', the opening track sets the pace for the new LP's rustic incantations. Intertwining like a solo performance over surf rock backing guitar, a fuzzy-feedback-tinged electric guitar surfs the rhythm, a throwback to noisy, garage jam summer days.

'Color & View', one of the more airy and melodic tracks on 'Virginia Trance' also makes use of its guitars, albeit, scaling on sweeter notes, the song takes moments between the vocals to let you bathe in its pleasing tones: a fitting ally on your road-tripping playlist.

If the previous song was your traveler's pick, 'Hello Lou Reed' comes as your kick-off-the-shoes-and-slump unwind. Saxophone, arranged by Ryan Weisheit, slides in with just a few notes, then bars, then takes center stage towards the song's latter half. The hypnotically psychedelic song jingle-jangle amalgamates the fine line between melancholy and relaxation as Davis odes to The Velvet Underground's Lou Reed.

'Virginia Trance' seems to rely heavily on its music for its charm, while remaining unboastfully subtle. The up-tempo 'Mary Cassat' is purely instrumental with its dance of the guitars while 'Move Away' applies a sitar-like hum over a clanky rhythm.

Overall, 'Virginia Trance' is not for those looking for music charged by high energy, but rather impresses a sense of carefree meanderings or laidback summer sprawls. It comes recommended for listeners who need a musical shelter from everything that’s happening without necessarily becoming untethered from reality.