With many groups, a reduction in their personnel is often mirrored in a simplification of their sound. In Virginia Wing's case, their reconfiguration from a trio to a two-piece sees them blossoming from the previously cold, Kosmische palette found on their debut LP Measures of Joy into the wider-reaching, fully focused sound of Forward Constant Motion. The album dives headlong into the synthetic waves that lapped around the edges of their initial work, drawing as much from the compressed thump of Homework-era Daft Punk as the languid new age-isms of Laurie Anderson to create a bold and inventive modern pop record.
Virginia Wing's strength is in taking recognized pop structures and unearthing the exit points within them. Case in point is lead-off single "Grapefruit," which emerges from a cacophony of crackles and hums and drifts in and out of focus, even while clocking in at a lean sub-four minutes. Elsewhere, "Miserable World" is far more rigid; with Alice Merida Richards' vocals tied to its jutting, jerking movements. Standout-track, "Hammer A Nail" abruptly taking off from powerful stomp to high-def escapism.
Underpinning much of the record, though, is a sense of the dreamlike or otherworld, the album split up by short, drifting passages where structures melt away. It's a key thematic point which, in-part, arose when Sam Pillay developed Labyrinthitis (a disorder of the inner ear which results in vertigo and disorientation).