I know that Vancouver is not necessarily a town where you’d expect to find some rockin’ Americana — especially by a band named Virginia Leaves — but that is exactly what this Canadian alt-country band is cranking out.
Starting off simply as some friends playing acoustic tunes and later building into a full band, Virginia Leaves draws inspiration from the No Depression scene that helped make guys like Jay Fararr and Jeff Tweedy household names. Cranking out old time country-influenced tracks, with distorted electric guitars meant to be played loud in half empty bars in middle America, Virginia Leaves just released their album, Portrait, via Whiskey Horse Records.
The second track on the album is a rocker called “No Where’s Worse.” Starting off with a driving drum beat, an old guitar amp armed with overdrive, and smoke and whiskey-tinged vocals, it sets the stage for Virginia Leaves’ take on what a rock album should sound like. Filled with some self-deprecating lyrics like, “I feel like I am nothing, but no where’s worse,” and some fiddle, the track reminds me of some of the country greats of old, like George Jones.
Virginia Leaves know exactly what their sound is, and they aren’t afraid to be who they are as they look to carry on the alt-country torch to future generations — they’re keeping alive the independent spirit of bands like Uncle Tupelo who came before them. Long live Americana, no matter what country it comes from.