Virgin Skulls are Marco and Tiro Rivera. The duo share a 20-year friendship, but only recently joined forces artistically. Their creativity is inspired by new wave, disco, and the UK’s eloquent and chic new Romantic Movement. Among their influences they count such diverse artists as Depeche Mode, Donna Summer, Tears For Fears, Morrissey, ABC, and Yaz. Tiro has spent decades as a tastemaker in music, fashion, and television. He’s widely respected for his career as a successful event promoter and talent buyer, producing some of the New York City area’s premier dance parties before becoming music director at the famed East Village venue Webster Hall.
A model, dancer, singer, composer, and actor, Marco has appeared in runway shows for such designers as Tommy Hilfiger and John Bartlett. He’s globe-trotted as a dancer with megastars such as La Bouche, Planet Soul and Sonique. He has also garnered roles in videos by such superstars as Ashanti, George Michael, Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez and Destiny’s Child, opposite Beyoncé.
The Virgin Skulls are currently promoting their single, “The Calling”. I was blown away and turned on within a sudden instant of pressing play on this track. In other words, it instantly won me over, especially since I have heard some of their other releases. The Virgin Skulls never sound the same on any two songs in their catalog.
Every song is just absolutely amazing and truly essential listening, all driven with amazing lyrics, brilliant songwriting, catchy, addictive, danceable beats and rhythms, dark melodies, and great usage of synthesizer lines, all topped off by the lead singer’s deep, and imposing voice which bring every single lyric to vibrant life.
And this is faithfully repeated on “The Calling”, which of course is driven by it’s dark, funky, beautiful, and gloomy melody, and catchy danceable rhythm backed up nicely by the song’s lyrics, and when you hear the opening lyrics implore: “Can we go out tonight?”, you know that you are in for one serious trip here.
The atmosphere throughout this song is simply unforgettable, and the chorus is just catchy and pure bliss. This takes the best of what defined 80s techno and new wave, and mixes it with 90’s synthwave and industrial sounds – only with a slightly rawer edge, a little more verve, and a more coy attitude.
The Virgin Skulls are not your average mainstream band, they play, flirt and seduce with their sounds. It’s a little alternative, a little new wave, and a little dance, all mixed into one. And by this time, you also realize that the great soundscape is matched by air-tight lyrics.
There is no doubt that the duo are a fountain of creativity and imagination who always looks outside of the box when it comes to composing music. Bottom line, “The Calling” is Virgin Skulls at their very best, and if you’re new to them, then by all means this would definitely be a great place to start.