Shawna Virago is a transgender punk music pioneer, whose latest offering is a promising mixture of folk, punk, and trans-americana. Her new studio album, Heaven Sent Delinquent, is a collection of 10 acoustic songs that transcends beyond borders and barriers to give you an accumulating group of raw and electric anthems.
The album opens with “Bright Green Ideas,” which will get listeners caught up in the urgency of the lyrics. The intoxicating storytelling and dramatic story-arc adds an added dimension to the track. The substantially folk-feel to the song is also heavily weighted with a punk twist. The enthused and energetic depth emerges with an ingrained punk spirit that seems to run underneath the gamut to this track. Bright and intelligent, the sound wells with Virago’s amplified vocals.
On “Gender Armageddon,” it grows more noticeable how well Virago is able to utilize her space with the sparse arrangements with only vocals to be accompanied by the lone strumming of the guitar. The Spartan-approach to this arrangement solidifies Virago’s passionate singing and punk energy. The energetic undertones coming from Virago’s deft guitar musicianship is matched by her emotional and vibrant voice.
“The Ballad of Miss Suzy Texas” is a riotous country ballad that blends Americana, punk, and rock music into a fiery piece of music.
“Light Night’s Sugar” highlights Virago’s husky vocals that seemed to be weathered from experience.
The title-track “Heaven Sent Delinquent” will get audiences hooked by this highly dynamic track. Invigorating and filled with zest, the spiraling sounds from the guitar soars with the vocals and tantalizing harmonies. Virago’s smoky vocals gets some vibrant backing from her deft finger work on the guitar here.
Virago continues to show her skills as a musician and singer-songwriter in the following tracks: on “Burnout,” her trailblazing voice engages us in a heartfelt and passionate anthem, “Anniversary Song” casts a spell on listeners with its celebratory stance and acoustic set, “Pleasure Car” pinpoints Virago’s resonating finger work on the guitar, while in “Holy Rollers” and “Land of Guns and Honey,” the country-twang with Virago’s handiwork on the guitar really shows the folk tune being carried away with the wry beat.
Shawna Virago’s album, Heaven Sent Delinquent, sheds light upon a makeshift of escape artists, drag renegades, and queer misfits. On the relevancy on these tracks, Virago describes: “These are the stories of my generation – a generation of transgender people who came out long before the internet, before the transgender celebrities and reality TV stars … before anybody gave a shit about us.”
There is definitely a dramatic edge to these intimate sessions filled with upbeat guitar tunes. These electric anthems really show Virago’s strength in empowering the transgender community everywhere. This acoustic album is fiery and filled with enlightening tales of the transgender warrior. A celebratory and trail-blazing feat, Shawna Virago’s unique voice gets amplified here in dynamic, yet simple arrangements that speaks for multitudes.