The temperature hovered below freezing on Friday night in New York City, but inside Webster Hall, the assembled crowd of bundled-up fans and the layered, autumnal melodies of folk sextet Fanfarlo conspired to keep things downright cozy. The evening capped off a six-week tour for the indie darlings, who released their debut full-length, Reservoir, in late September and have gained a steady following Stateside in the intervening months. David Bowie has praised the band's "delicious melancholia" and Grey's Anatomy featured their song "Ghosts." Synthesizing the multi-instrumentalism and quirky musicality of Arcade Fire and the Balkan-tinged sonic doodlings of Beirut and Devotchka, the British band has successfully co-opted a very specific-- and up to now, distinctly North American corner of the indie rock scene.
It's nightfall and one of New York City's newest buzz bands is not, as you might imagine, pre-partying at a Lower East Side dive. Instead, the Virgins sit around a table at the only restaurant near their rehearsal space they aren't sick of -- a T.G.I. Friday's close to Penn Station. The scene inside the deep-fryer-friendly chain -- lots of bloated tourists, a few unshaven drunks -- is a far cry from the quartet's celeb-studded gigs, where Chloë Sevigny and "it" model Agyness Deyn have been spotted shaking their skinny asses. Together for barely a year, the Virgins have had the kind of out-of-the-ether rise that causes bloggers to gush and their peers to curse. Raised in New York, 25-year-old singer Donald Cumming left home at 15, dropped out of high school, and then stumbled into acting and modeling.