The Virgins’ New Album ‘Strike Gently’ Is More Grown Up

Photo: Adly Bewa

Everything about Strike Gently, New York City indie rockers the Virgins’ second album, has been an exercise in independence. Since releasing their self-titled full-length debut in 2008, frontman Donald Cumming has assembled a new lineup, parted ways with the group’s previous label, Atlantic, and proceeded to make the record he wanted to make, an album he alludes is a departure from the dance-rock sounds of the Virgin’s breakthrough. Eventually he signed a deal with the Strokes’ frontman Julian Casablancas, and their new 10-track set, Strike Gently, is due out March 12 on Cult Records. Speaking shortly before playing a concert on a rainy day in Bogotá, Cumming recently explained to us how it all came together.

How have you changed as a band since the last album?

I’ve definitely grown more confident as a songwriter. The approach to this record was very different from anything I’ve done before. We just worked really quickly and wrote the songs. We were recording them pretty much all in one room. It was really natural. It felt really effortless.

How would you describe the sound of the new album?

It’s definitely a rock-and-roll record. It’s a record I’m really proud of and have been wanting to do for a long time. It’s cool. There’s not a lot of fancy … I don’t know. It’s just very straightforward.

Earlier this year, you released a single called “Venus in Chains.” How does Strike Gently compare to that?

I don’t necessarily want to compare them. We did “Venus in Chains” because we hadn’t put out anything in a while and we did it as a one-off, not knowing when our next opportunity would be. It’s just kind of a logical extension from there. We’ve written songs since then and they ended up being on the record. Julian didn’t want to include anything on the record that had already been released, so we just let it be its own single.

Stream “Venus in Chains” below:

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