Virgins (Tim Hecker album)

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Tim Hecker - Virgins.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 14, 2013
StudioGreenhouse Studios
(Reykjavík, Iceland)
Avast! Recording Company
(Seattle, Washington)
(Troy, New York)
Tim Hecker chronology
Instrumental Tourist
Love Streams
Singles from Virgins
  1. "Virginal II"
    Released: August 27, 2013
  2. "Black Refraction"
    Released: September 26, 2013

Virgins is the seventh studio album by Canadian electronic musician Tim Hecker, released on October 14, 2013 by Kranky and Paper Bag Records.[1][2] The album features contributions from Kara-Lis Coverdale.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[5]
The A.V. ClubA−[6]
Mojo4/5 stars[7]
MusicOMH4.5/5 stars[8]
Q4/5 stars[11]
Resident Advisor4/5[12]

Virgins received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 87, based on 26 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim", and becoming Hecker's highest scoring album on the site.[4]

Mike Powell of Pitchfork praised the album, stating, "This is music that benefits from being heard loud and/or on headphones in the same way couches are best experienced by actually sitting down in them instead of just brushing your fingers against the upholstery as you leave the room. Like a lot of Ben Frost’s albums (or something like SwansThe Seer), Virgins feels possessed by the idea that no advancements in society or technology will ever shake our primal reactions to fear, wonder, awe and what in a more naïve era used to be called the sublime. And while it’s a fallacy to think that hyperseriousness is the only way to strike people at their core, it’s still inspiring to hear an artist—especially one who started out as mellow as Hecker—double down and make a statement so confrontational. Once haunted, now he’s the one who haunts."[10]

Philip Sherburne of Spin gave the album a favorable review, stating, "Hecker's abstractions have never been more expressive than they are on Virgins, and his containers have never been more fraught. His main compositional principle might have come from the late philosopher Marshall Berman: All that is solid melts into air. There’s an exhilarating bleakness at the center of Virgins — the hollow at the heart of all things, nibbling inexorably away."[13]

Virgins was a longlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.[15] The album placed fifth in The Wire magazine's annual critics' poll.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tim Hecker.

2."Virginal I"6:16
4."Live Room"7:02
5."Live Room Out"2:37
6."Virginal II"5:23
7."Black Refraction"3:33
8."Incense at Abu Ghraib"1:53
9."Amps, Drugs, Harmonium"3:03
10."Stigmata I"2:18
11."Stigmata II"3:56
12."Stab Variation"6:30
Total length:48:46



  1. ^ "KRANK183 – Tim Hecker "Virgins"". Kranky. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  2. ^ "Tim Hecker Announces New Album "Virgins"". Paper Bag Records. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  3. ^ Pouliot, Kia (February 11, 2014). "Kara-Lis Coverdale talks MTL music scene, working with Tim Hecker". The McGill Tribune. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Reviews for Virgins by Tim Hecker". Metacritic. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  5. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Virgins – Tim Hecker". AllMusic. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  6. ^ Mejia, Paula (October 22, 2013). "Tim Hecker: Virgins". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "Tim Hecker: Virgins". Mojo (240): 86. November 2013.
  8. ^ Mainzer, Jordan (October 14, 2013). "Tim Hecker – Virgins". MusicOMH. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  9. ^ Gardner, Noel (October 14, 2013). "Tim Hecker – 'Virgins'". NME. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Powell, Mike (October 15, 2013). "Tim Hecker: Virgins". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  11. ^ "Tim Hecker: Virgins". Q (329): 107. December 2013.
  12. ^ Maleney, Ian (October 14, 2013). "Tim Hecker – Virgins". Resident Advisor. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Sherburne, Philip (October 15, 2013). "Tim Hecker Conducts Harrowing, Thrilling Drone Warfare on His New Masterpiece, 'Virgins'". Spin. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  14. ^ "Tim Hecker: Virgins". Uncut (198): 72. November 2013.
  15. ^ "Polaris Music Prize announces 2014 long list". Aux. June 19, 2014. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  16. ^ "2013 Rewind: Releases of the Year 1–50". The Wire. No. 359. London. January 2014. p. 33 – via Exact Editions. (subscription required)