It still holds true that the proverbial machines kill fascists, but what instrument of destruction can be employed to defeat the patriarchy? Clearly Shawna Virago has, at lest part in parcel, the answer of in combatting perceived normalcy, with the lustful and unabashed release of Heaven Sent Delinquent. Simple, erotic, and impartial to saving any party from feeling bashful, Virago’s latest is much-needed in a period of prescribed restraint.
The album’s title track demonstrates Virago attempting her best Billy Bragg impression, swapping labour party issues for a survey of much more visceral experiences. It’s not an enormous leap to imagine Virago extoling some Kennedy-era social injustice. And while it’s not so much the political devices that Virago focuses on, there’s certainly an undercurrent of religious unrest, “Holy Rollers” confirms the resistance.
Heaven Sent Delinquent is stripped down to resemble the social issue troubadours of the past. Though perhaps anti-folk is more applicable in Virago’s sense – with musings such as “I didn’t know the bell had rung/I just knew my cage was sprung/By your well-hung tongue” one gets the idea that it’s not flagrantly blue material so much as it is pointing out the resistance and detail of what goes on in the bedrooms of America.
Virago’s presence on record and within the increasingly niche singer-songwriter is necessary. From what is a particularly cisgender style of music, Virago’s personal experience and pride in her performance is astounding. Heaven Sent Delinquent may be resistance but is also an apt reminder for Virago’s all-too timely presence.