Three titans of progressive rock, Nick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train), Neal Morse (Transatlantic, NMB) & Ross Jennings (Haken, Novena) joined forces in 2021 for their “Troika” album, a record that saw them exploring their love of more acoustic-led music and three-part vocal harmonies. Now the band are extremely pleased to reveal the follow-up, aptly titled “Sophomore”, will be released 10th November 2023.
Today the band are pleased to launch the album’s first single ‘Anywhere The Wind Blows’, and you can watch the video now below.
Neal Morse comments: “I was sitting on a beach with a baby acoustic guitar in my hands and the ocean wind blowing on my face, and began to play the opening riff. The rest of the song flowed easily. There was a certain sense of freedom that day that I think comes across in the song. I’m so glad that Nick and Ross wanted to record it because I immediately thought of them. The sense of freedom that I had that day…I hope it fills the hearts of the people who are listening to the song. It’s a good feeling…”
The three musicians began trading song ideas in late 2022, before choosing 10 of those to record in January 2023. “I think there was always a plan in the back of everybody’s minds about doing a second one. We just got the conversation started and then started checking out some tunes. There were a lot of songs that were a little less fleshed out than with the first album, but once we got the ball rolling, it kind of went really fast”, says Nick D’Virgilio.
For the three members, this group serves as something different for all of them. Morse explains, “I’ve never been part of a group that was like this one. Most people know I’m a big CSN fan and I love Yes’s three-part harmonies and The Beatles as well. My dad was a choir director, so harmonies are in my blood! DMJ is a special group that is its own unique cup of tea and has such a nice flavor. Great blend. The main thing for me is to be working on good songs; it doesn’t matter to me who writes them or necessarily that much about styles. If the songs are good, then I’m all about it.”
Jennings agrees, “I’m a huge fan of country and folk music, I love the three-part harmony style. As a vocalist known for progressive metal releases, prior to forming the band I could never have predicted that I’d be considered to be part of a group making music like this. It’s still mind-blowing to me since I’d never officially recorded and released any music of this genre to prove that I can do it. Making these records with Nick and Neal has been such a pleasant and rewarding experience. It’s funny how things work out sometimes!”
For the first time since the band formed, the trio got together in person for the making of a few videos for the album (the first of which will premiere on September 8th). It also marked the first time they sang together in person, D’Virgilio explains. “Since we were there, we decided to try a little live performance. We’ve never sang together before in person, but it came together very quickly. It’s a very natural thing and I think bodes well for us getting out there on the road and hopefully doing some live shows.”
“Sophomore” will be available on Limited CD Edition (incl. 2 bonus tracks), Ltd Gatefold Transparent Red LP, Ltd Gatefold Transparent Blue LP & as Digital Album. Pre-order now HERE.
1. Hard To Be Easy
2. Linger At The Edge Of My Memory
3. Tiny Little Fires
4. Right Where You Should Be
5. The Weary One
7. I’m Not Afraid
8. Weighs Me Down
9. Walking On Water
10. Anywhere The Wind Blows
11. Right Where You Should be (Alternative Version)*
12. The Weary One (Alternative Version)*