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Secret Kids

by Virgin of the Birds

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9 out of 10 - "This is a marvellous record from beginning to end. There’s not a moment of ennui, not a single passage that you want to skip even after repeated listens. All this and a great Lemonheads reference too. This is one that is destined for my end of year lists." - AmericanaUK

9 out of 10 - "The late, great Vic Chesnutt once said that he liked the idea of using words in songs that no-one had used before. I'm guessing that Jon Rooney from Seattle feels the same way. ...On 'I Am A Bad Dreamer' he recalls 'I was carnal, I was careful' and makes you think all love songs should contain details like these. ...In short, these are songs that invite reverie and revelry; tunes to be devoured whole then savoured individually." - Whisperin' & Hollerin'

**** - "deft lyrics coming on like the product of a latter-day Lawrence from Felt ...beguiling, hypnotic and, yes, literate" - Shindig Magazine

"The music is a wide open expanse, but that expanse is wonderfully melodic. ...Secret Kids is a lot like watching time lapse photography of a zygote growing into a human being and it'll keep the most ADD listeners staring at their speakers and staying up all night." - Glacially Musical

"Equal parts melancholic and hopeful, songwriter Jon Rooney’s brand of lo-fi folk is essential listening for fans of Mac Demarco, Sunset Rubdown, and Lilys" - Killing Moon

"All of the songs have some hook to – sometimes in a very subtle way – grab your attention, but the album only reveals its true beauty upon repeated listening. There is always something new to discover, be it in the music or, maybe even more often, in the lyrics." - Find A Song Blog

"This album is a treasure not to be missed" - When You Motor Away

Secret Kids, the second LP from Seattle-based Virgin of the Birds, is set for release on vinyl and digital in October 2016 by Song, By Toad Records in the UK/Europe and Abandoned Love Records in the US. Named after a poor English translation of a Salvador Dali painting, Virgin of the Birds treads a line between intimate, lo-fi pop and the occasional grandeur of early art rock.

Songwriter Jon Rooney started Virgin of the Birds as a solo project in San Francisco in the mid-00’s then built an ace band while living in Austin, TX for a couple of years before settling in Seattle. After releasing a series of free, home-recorded EPs on Rooney’s own Abandoned Love Records, Virgin of the Birds caught the attention of Edinburgh-based blog and label Song, By Toad, leading to several solo shows in Edinburgh, the inclusion of a disc full of songs on the label’s limited edition Five-Year Anniversary Box Set and the release of Winter Seeds, their 2014 debut full-length album that The Herald Scotland described as “essential.” Three songs Virgin of the Birds recorded in Edinburgh appear on the Song, By Toad Split 12” ‘Volume 4’ released in July 2016 alongside tracks by Baltimore-based troubadour Viking Moses and Scottish artists Supermoon and digitalanalogue.

credits

released October 14, 2016

Virgin of the Birds is Jon Rooney and Colin J Nelson

Bass on "Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty" and "Secret Kids" by Paul Beaudry
Lead guitar and background vocals on "The Queen of Sweden" by Bart Cameron
Bass on "Summer Palace" by Kira Wilson
Lead guitar on "Summer Palace" by Jacob Thiede
Other lead guitar on "Summer Palace" by Daniel Cutting

All songs by Jon Rooney, published by Pilgrim Fear Music (ASCAP)
Produced by Colin J Nelson
Recorded and mixed by Colin J Nelson at Her Car, Seattle, WA USA
Mastered by Carl Saff, Saff Mastering
Illustration and design by Jon Rooney

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Virgin of the Birds Seattle, Washington

Named after a poor English translation of a Salvador Dali painting, Virgin of the Birds treads a line between intimate, lo fi folk and the occasional grandeur of early art rock. About 2007′s Mixed Choir, released on Abandoned Love Records, songs:illinois noted “If you like the rambling folk weirdness of Felt than you’ll no doubt like this as well.” ... more

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Track Name: Cardinal Points
I guess it's plausible apostasy
You know how much you mean to me
So you're proud of your mouth
Sold out poems from the south

You surprised me with your symmetry
Your Roman rings, your tyranny
You rambled back and forth
'Bout some future furies from the north

Cardinal points
Appear before
The silver scenes
That we adore

They found us in a gilded bed
Where we mostly drank and read
We could sin, we could talk
And wish away the winter hawks

Beneath the blessed scenery
You conjured all your warmth for me
And so illuminated love
Fell like fever from above

Cardinal points
Appear before
The silver scenes
That we adore
Track Name: Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty
She was spooky, stony, barely over 30
She decided it was time to make a run
It was time to put down every revelry that she found
And go back home to Wilmington

"Nothing is rare anymore", she said
Not the singers nor the sounds,
The secret kids, the coral clouds
Not the harsher angels hunting overhead
Nor the pages that the Magus might've read

Stop singing about the slipstream
If you don't know what it means
You don't have seem so hollow
You don't have seem so lean

Give up on Mercury now
Give up the girls and Apollo
You know my ghost, anyhow
Untrained, but ready to follow
I played bass in the Lemonheads toward the end
Before the 90's devoured us and then
No one remembered it was me, I played a Gibson EB3
I was 19 or 20, softly shadowed, almost free

I miss the sighs of the masterpiece
And the thighs of the Vicar's niece
I found peace, it was lush,
I found the sound I found the Crush
I found the sound I found the Crush
I found the sound I found the Crush
I found the sound I found the Crush

There are no pardons for the damned
The turning road, the silver sand
The hopeless sprawl, your famous friends
The wintry sun that soon will end

We were wasted, we were warned
We were vague and poorly formed
We were soft, don't rub it in
Almost lost, don't rub it in

Give up on Mercury now
Give up the girls and Apollo
You know my ghost, anyhow
Untrained, but ready to follow

She was spooky, stony, barely over 30
She allowed herself to dream of the crusade
To lay waste to the city streets, and collapse every county seat
And depart from the apartments of the easily laid
Track Name: Minmae Shall Be Revealed
You make drowsy magic unlike other girls
You look tigerish beneath those Manichean curls
You wield your wand, you lord your looks
Your leave out your yellowed New Directions books
A sword, a shield
Minmae shall be revealed

We were sad, we were tough, but we liked that stuff
We could never find ourselves in bed enough
You had your fill of the world at will
You linger on Delancey even still
And Dermond field
Minmae shall be revealed

We were kissing on the summer lawn
And you went hissing in the winter calm
You became a cat, and I loved you for that
You wore ribbons in your blue Bergere hat
God love John Peel
Minmae shall be revealed
Track Name: Secret Kids
We waged secret wars with secret kids
We didn't win but we know who did
It was them, they wouldn't bend

They sing themselves and they proclaim
Their dreaming makes them preordained
For art, for fame and made up names

Go tell that fox
Using the moon
"Your queen, if caught, will hum our tune"

We savored words from Saint Paul
We feigned suffering before the law
We were young and cruel and still in school

Jennifer, take it from me
Go easy on Theosophy
Get drunk and dance, don't miss your chance (at)

The wakeful shapes, the prayerful spans
The bedrooms of Saint-Florentin

Dermond is doomed
It can't be true
who's zoomin' who?
who's zoomin' who?

Stretch out your limbs
I want you to
Who's zoomin' who?
Who's zoomin' who?

We waged secret wars with secret kids
We didn't win but we know who did
I was stunned when you stayed
With the summer maid

Go tell that fox
Using the moon
"Your queen, if caught, will hum our tune"

Dermond is doomed
It can't be true
Who's zoomin' who?
Who's zoomin' who?

Stretch out your limbs
I want you to
Who's zoomin' who?
Who's zoomin' who?
Track Name: The Queen of Sweden
Your heart’s too full for talking
The muses found me sulking in my cell
They wish you well, they wish you well, they wish you well

Wives of wind can’t win at all these days
Every other hour levels praise
Upon the verses underserved
To impress me, you’d better impress her

Were the world all mine
From the ocean to the Rhine
I’d give it all, I’d give it all
I’d give it all for the Queen of Sweden

The Huns set fire to the library as the left
You cursed their gods under your breath
Sit in your room
Your room will teach your everything

You held your sword like a dancer
You held your sword like a dancer
You held your sword like a dancer
And you fought like the girl I loved

Were the world all mine
From the ocean to the Rhine
I’d give it all, I’d give it all
I’d give it all, I’d give it all
I’d give it all for the Queen of Sweden
Track Name: Summer Palace
We walked in song
We were wanting all along
To yield to the hum
And the hissing in the heart of everyone
Or maybe just some of us
A summer in the palace
A place where we can rest our golden heads
And the yard goes on forever overhead

You cheated, then confessed
You wore that smile I detest
And I hate your friends

I've been to your parties
The only truth at your parties
Is when the party ends

Like two arms reaching out to pull us in
Where the wolves of the winter’s breath blows thin
Through a modern gaze we sat and watched the fall
And you were still left wanting after all
Since the summer palace sings so silvery
You lifted then abandoned me
Kiss your mistress, kiss your mistress
I broke up the band, with God as my witness

It's horrific how we feed
All our numberless needs
Just to watch them grow

If the lords are alive
Sound the bells, wake their wives
They ought to know

You’re not sick, you’re just in love
Track Name: Mothering Sunday
We are widows to the world we knew
We brace ourselves, we carry ourselves through
Past the pale thrones and the reckoning
And the shade of the ever-mounting evening

We saw you slip away
The flower burning in the day

Your sketches and the books you read
Your beauty and the hospital beds
Just carry yourself back to me
From across that lonesome ocean

"Rejoice, O Jerusalem
And come together all of you that love her"
"Rejoice, O Jerusalem
And come together all of you that love her"

I thought you might want something small
A reminder of what I saw

Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or the coast of Barcelona
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or the coast of Barcelona