Singled Out: Virginity's Swinging South

Keavin Wiggins | 07-05-2024 11:41 AM EDT

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Singled Out: Virginity's Swinging South

Florida-based band Virginity just released their new album "Bad Jazz" and to celebrate we asked vocalist Casey Crawford to tell us about the track "Swinging South". Here is the story:

One of our new singles, Swinging South, is also the first song we wrote for this record. My definition of what "writing a song" means has changed a lot during the course of making Bad Jazz and this song set the tone for how the entire record would take shape. That change manifested in three different ways-some intentional and others less so.

One of the unintentional ways is that I found I was having trouble completing songs in the time between when our last record, POPMORTEM, was completed and when it came out, which was a whole damn year. We had decided to get into a room over a weekend and flesh things out and when I turned up all I had was these little sketches of songs; a verse and a chorus, maybe a cool riff idea in there-sometimes even less than that. Previously I had been delivering fairly well fleshed out, completed tunes. Swinging South was the first of these sketches I had to dissect by Jim, Chris, and Jordan. It was a simple verse and chorus recorded on an iPhone with an acoustic guitar. At first, I was nervous because I wasn't sure we had enough material to really get things done, but we kicked things back and forth and within a few hours a song began to take shape. It helped us all to learn to get more collaborative and make the best song we possibly could using each one of us to our best abilities. There was no formula to any song on Bad Jazz because we started from a different place on every song based on the sketch I had, but we carried out this process for nearly all of them.

Another thing we had never done was play songs live that hadn't been recorded. We made our whole first record with no thoughts of ever playing live. Then our next two releases happened during Covid. This time we played many of these songs out for a year or more before stepping into the studio. Some even became live staples, such as Swinging South. And through playing it live so many times, the song began to evolve even further, but in more nuanced ways. We really focused on dialing in our dynamics-that "loud-quiet-loud" thing the song vacillates between. Again, nothing conscious was happening here at first. We simply had a new song and we were excited to play it. Nevertheless, it kept the song alive and fresh.

Lastly, we recorded the entire record live. We mostly did this because we got obsessed with a Beatles documentary for two months, but then we stuck to our guns. Each of these songs was allowed to continue evolving all the way up until it was documented, which I feel gives the record this wonderful sort of beating heart. For instance, in Swinging South we'd always had that heavy breakdown ending, but it wasn't until we were in the studio that it took its final shape in deciding exactly where we would all sync up on certain hits. Additionally, harmonies and backing ooh's and ahh's were worked out and hammered into place.

Swinging South is the rock on which Bad Jazz was built.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more here

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