On September 21, UK shoegazer The Virgance will be releasing Paradigm 3, his third LP in a little over 18 months, on the El Vals del Conejo label. The Virgance is Nathan Smith, formerly guitarist with nineties UK indie band Ripley, which saw BBC Radio 1 and MTV Europe airplay, and co-producer of noughties electronica outfit Loveless. Smith's first solo LP as The Virgance was 'Lost Continent', which was released in February 2014, followed by the 'Hiko Shrine' LP in January 2015. Both received critical acclaim in the shoegaze community and blogosphere.
Paradigm 3 builds on the momentum gained from these first two releases, serving up a fresh cerebral road trip for shoegaze and post-rock fans to absorb. Smith demonstrates the strength of the album format as an art form and reminds us of the rewards of patient listening in this modern, digital age of instant gratification and short attention spans. This is perhaps the most balanced Virgance release so far, embracing the more emotional aspects of shoegaze while retaining some experimental rock attributes, as well as the aesthetics of both beautiful noise and ambient music.
As with his two previous albums, Smith’s distinctive, swirling guitar sound is at the forefront, in harmony, on all but one of these eight tracks, with synthesized, ethereal female vocal sounds and some of his most advanced drum work to date. Shauna McLarnon of celebrated dreampop duo Ummagma contributes some of these vocals, which meld into the texture of the first single 'Down The River'. There are radio edits for three of these tracks, two of which were created by Ummagma.
Colchester-born Smith currently resides in rural Suffolk, where he crafted all three Virgance albums. "Paradigm 3" will be available exclusively through the artist's and label's Bandcamp.