Taken as a whole, the single “Virgin” by singer-songwriter Heistheartist is less of a stylistic about-face than it is a subtle and deliberate course deviation. There are plenty of light psychedelic flourishes and sonic dynamics that made the artist’s previous work such a rich listen; nearly every hook, from the low-in-the-gut thump of the bass drum to the trembling keys and hurried rhythm is supported by an intricate web of searching lyrics, wispy vocals, and other quirky sonic details. In a time when most commercial pop and R&B is engineered for computers and smartphone speakers, “Virgin” is refreshingly geared toward headphone listening.
“Virgin” expands on the topic of temptation that was previously the center topic of his single “The Snake Charmer” and his EP “Adam & Eve”. It delves into the experience of a Catholic Nun taking a vow of abstinence and how difficult that is while living in a society where the temptation of sex is everywhere. The lyrics “It’s you I like, it’s not me” references the promise that nuns make to rid themselves of all vanity in order to be able to focus fully on God’s work.
The track’s title of course, provides a concise frame for the song’s theme, as Heistheartist’s preoccupations of love, sex and faith, are haunted by an undercurrent of psychological temptation and emotional disorder. Right from the start of “Virgin”, we once again get a lot of insight into the brain of one of the game’s most eclectic artists.
Just when you think you’ve got the answers with an artist like Heistheartist, he changes the questions. As he always strives to stay one step ahead of the audience. Content on expanding his sound, he loves to keep fans guessing as to where he will go next, but there’s always a logic to his artistic audacity. “Virgin” distinguishes itself with strong songwriting and genuine catchiness, and quickly sets itself apart from the millions of imitations riding the pop charts.
Heistheartist’s writing and delivery can so often be compared to Prince but the most important similarity between the two is their refusal to be boxed into one sound and style. With a calming-yet-dangerously rhythmic vibe, “Virgin” accurately unfolds what it introduces. The track shows Heistheartist’s growth as a creative artist who is taking more musical and lyrical risks, with each subsequent release. With a uniquely impressive range, Heistheartist masters getting different sounds to jell together cohesively.
Heistheartist continually pushes himself toward more free-flowing music, avoiding the mainstream clichés, while still coming across as a slick professional. Hailing from Central Islip, NY and formerly signed under his birth name, LeeMann Bassey, Heistheartist has his own catalogue of quirks and stylistic flourishes that help to distinguish him from the crowded arena of R&B and pop stars.
Heistheartist is at his best creating luscious sounds underneath his wistful delivery to create richly rewarding soundscapes. That’s what makes “Virgin” so excellent – it consistently plays to his strengths. “Virgin” was produced by Christian Label Wright Music Group and Heistheartist.