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Virtual Heaven

by Infinity Crush

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    Released by Joy Void

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      $20 USD or more 

     

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about

On first listen, Infinity Crush’s Virtual Heaven is a bit like entering another world. The album’s sonic beauty and the stunning vocals of songwriter Caroline White are transportive: Virtual Heaven can be heightened and surreal, but also intensely down to earth and human; it can be stark and minimal, but also lush and stirring; it can be unabashedly romantic, but also painfully complex; it rarely offers resolution, but it’s incredibly gratifying. The more you explore this new world, the more you realize that White’s words and melodies aren’t just escapism, but instead reflections of life’s beauty, contradiction, hurt, and joy--internal and external moments and feelings that are very real even if we don’t always have the language to fully express them.

The beginnings of Infinity Crush saw White releasing a prolific stream of home recordings as she became a part of a community of like-minded musicians that includes Sam Ray, Alex G, and Elvis Depressedly. This culminated in 2016’s Warmth Equation, a document of her ability to deftly apply the homespun charm of Infinity Crush’s early work to a more fully-realized album format for the first time. After moving from Maryland to North Carolina to study poetry, White found herself alone in a new city for the first time and spent most of her days reading, writing, and working on the music that would become Virtual Heaven. The more isolated she felt, the more potent her interior world became. White explains, “I found myself fantasizing and romanticizing, which is easy to do when you’re by yourself all the time. Every interaction would feel sort of high stakes in a way that was kind of silly and not rational, but I’d also sort of let myself enjoy it.”

This daydream-like blur of fantasy and reality would become a hallmark of Virtual Heaven, and pairs perfectly with White’s fascination with language itself. “I feel really drawn to language that makes you rethink or reframe the words themselves,” she says. “You can know language so well but it can still surprise you and move you. You can think of it as our material existence because it’s how we understand the world, but no matter what you say, you can never get to an exact meaning. That’s a horrible hang-up but there’s also something really beautiful about all that space in between meanings.” That space is where Virtual Heaven came to life.

Infinity Crush often has a rotating cast of collaborators and for Virtual Heaven, White teamed with her close friend Jordan Bleau to record at Minneapolis’ Minnehaha Studios. It was the first time she made a record in a real studio, and despite the exhausting process of flying back and forth and lengthy overnight sessions, she calls it “the most fulfilled I’ve ever felt after making an album. It was pretty emotional for me to have the resources to really create the best thing I could make.” The result is Infinity Crush’s most fleshed out work to date, yet Virtual Heaven still maintains the intimacy of the project’s early recordings. Each song is a self-contained vignette that rarely uses conventional structures or reaches the three minute mark, while always tightly threaded with hyper-specific snapshots, hazy allusions, and rich instrumentation.

“Misbehaving” opens Virtual Heaven with plaintive guitar and White’s gentle voice dancing over many of the album’s recurring motifs: romanticized interactions, conflicted morality, and the little details that at once ground and heighten the surreal elements. “Haze” leans into the excitement of submitting to fantasy, while songs like “Drive Thru,” “Car,” or “Lunar Pull” find White allowing herself to show her sense of humor or indulge in a touch of drama with greater ease. On the title track and “Through The Ashes,” she touches on some of the unexpectedly apocalyptic imagery on Virtual Heaven. “I didn’t even realize I was doing it but I think those themes are going to seep in for most people making music right now. Just genuine existential dread for a lot of what this generation is told we’re going to experience.”

Throughout Virtual Heaven, White weaves her guitar and voice through shimmering keyboards, distant drums, and harmonies with Bleau, which all work to envelope the listener in the album’s otherworldly atmosphere. The dreamlike music and lyrics are so inextricable and absorbing that album-closer “Prophet” inadvertently acts as a gut-wrenching reality-check. “It might be the most ‘realistic’ song on the record,” White says. “The end is just being vulnerable, and how even after all the fantasies you’re still going to have to come back to reality and deal with what’s happening. Everything isn’t perfect.” This is the power of Virtual Heaven: it’s not another world and it doesn’t have easy answers, but it’s life and all of the beauty and heartache that comes with it.

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released August 9, 2019

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Track Name: misbehaving
spin me 'round forever baby
endless summer misbehaving
I wanna be good but you make me crazy
touching my thigh in the backseat baby
remember last december with me?
the snow fell down like love around me
and I wanna be cool like 'oh, you do't phase me'
but I sit in my room thinking about you baby
living in a daydream with you
hazy nights that make me want you
you know I'd drive out west to see you
sun in my eyes, going fast to meet you

the oak trees and the lights
and the way you lose your mind
when you're watching me undress
and you say that I'm the best
out of all the girls that come and waste your time
but you go and waste theirs too
'cause that's just what you do
you evil little thing, you're so pretty in the light
my body's resurrected every time it's in your sight
sleeping like an angel on the drive to california
and you don't know what you do
but you do it and you do it and you do it
don't you?
I want eternal twilight in your quiet little room
and I don't know what I do
but I'm falling and I'm falling and I'm falling
into you
Track Name: haze
I don't care what people say,
I know you've made a few mistakes
but you're so good inside your room
watching me just watching you
you fold your clothes, the end is soon
it's almost fall, it's almost noon
the world expand and we do too
we move apart then I'm back to you

and I'm falling like snow and you're pulling me down
and I can't help from laughing when I hit the ground
the way the light hits your face, it makes me religious
'cause when we're alone swear I feel something with us

somewhere there's a world where we
can be together fully:
the sun just sets eternally,
the sky all pink and holy
and maybe we live by the lake,
swimming in the summer haze

and I'm falling like rain and you're pulling me down
Track Name: drive thru
i meet you in the drive thru and you're staring at my hands
and it's pretty cold for april fourth but it's not feeling so bad
i want it all, the sweet control,
like when I'm driving off the road and only I know where I go
and then you like when I'm on top and you just sit and you just watch
and then it's like I'm in a painting when I come and get you off
you can still get into heaven baby if you just do it soft
I want it all, the sweet evil,
and this place is not my home, I just sleep and I just grow
into something else and someone else and move the way I know
and I'm not whole
Track Name: car
you're sitting in your room and the world spins around you
do you feel me where you are? do you think of me at all?
and all we have is time, I grow with you for a while
then you run ahead of me and I'm left pretending
I love the way you stare at my body like a car
crashing back into the earth
do you know the way this hurts?

you know my name and you know my body
and it feels like heaven when you just watch me
you know I think of you in everything I do
just tell me the truth, you can just tell me the truth
feels the first time snow has hit the ground
the stillness that you bring every time you come around

heaven hurts and heaven stings and heaven feels like nothing
I get too high, I sleep it off, I wake up the rain pure and soft
it's like a song I never learned, your face so pure the way it burns
I only have my little words, powerless against the hurt
Track Name: lunar pull
your lunar pull gives me vertigo
and I'm spending the night for the one thousandth time
you give me head 'cause we are just friends
and that's what we do, but I don't love you
remember the fire that burned near your house
in the quiet november we don't make a sound
and I think that I'm done with your shit
but I kind of love it

I want to tell you about what I read,
how flowers at night bloom 'cause they're tired
but I can't speak when you look at me
so I buy some perfume to smell like the moon
and I'm tired but I'm not blooming
and I want you but I'm not moving
and you made me feel holy, but only this morning
Track Name: minnesota
in minnesota it's raining quiet like a dream
and the birds all fly south like a halo over me
I could stay here forever with you just watching me
you're like water the way that you bleed through everything
come pick me up, come take me down
we can just drive around, we can just kiss on the mouth
come touch my hair, come let me stare
I just want to watch you move like a light across the room

you have this quiet force about you,
there's physics to just wanting you
I'm in your snowglobe for a moment
you shake me up and watch me move
and it's just like me to chase something
I know that I can never have
but it's nice to think about your figure
just standing in the tall grass

and I'm staying up all night again, I'm sitting on the roof
hoping that the wind that touches me might touch you too
you know I'm living through these days and I'm just looking for relief
waiting for a second where I don't feel anything
and I guess winter's always coming, or it's just about to leave
we're happy for a moment, and then we blink
Track Name: virtual heaven
when the world ends, I hope I'm just in your bed
and you look at me again, and it feels like heaven
redemption can be sweet when you're on earth with me
I want move without direction, back to you no hesitation
I'm haunted by this dream I have where you kiss my neck and then my hands
and we're lying in the brightest garden
the world is pure and we are golden
Track Name: pink moon
wake up from the dream where you kiss me when you're sober
I see you in the light, then I blink and then it's over
wasn't life so pretty when I'd meet you in the garden?
you'd say my name forever like it was a song
you know, the sunset's not so pretty when you look straight at the light
I never learn my lesson, I always burn my eyes

drive into the street like it's any other thursday
I almost see your face as I merge onto the highway
I think of you forever like a long expanding field
you take up so much space in every way I feel
you know, the world is always spinning and we're just here for the ride
I hope that through earth's movements we finally collide

my body's like a wave, always moving towards you
you look at me that way and I know that I can't have you
but wasn't life so pretty when you'd meet me in the water?
you'd say a little prayer before ever going under
you know I'd stand and wait for you to come and swim up
I'd wait and wait forever but I guess that wasn't enough
Track Name: mirror
love the way you stare in the mirror when I'm there
and you tell me you don't care about me
I'm stuck inside the dream where you want me
and you tell me that I am free like
the birds that fly above the whole world and don't know love
and I am far from everything that's ever touched me
perform my rituals right before I sleep
so I can have the dream where you want me
and somehow in the dark I have lost my shape
and I just want you to take me home
to the place where I am free, the mountains inside my dreams
I never asked for anything, some love some safety

do you love what you've done like a sickness in the dark
that comes and distorts everything I thought?
but I am beautiful without you,
I am learning life without you
I am beautiful without you,
I'm so beautiful
Track Name: green
in my fantasy it's all green and you're here with me
I'm not real, I am free
I take my clothes off when it gets too warm
and I can't breathe when you look at me
we don't have to do a thing, just lie here with me

I try not to see you when I close my eyes,
but it's like water on the ground, uncontained disperse around
you know I still love you like the way the snow falls down
it's so soft but so destructive, its beauty counterproductive
I keep finding myself back inside your room
I really thought that I could change, I really thought it'd be the same
but you're looking at me different
you want the person, I'm the picture
of who I was, of who you loved
it's not enough
Track Name: through the ashes
I am free like the bird in the ashes
that flies through to see you
and loves you and needs you
I re-wear my clothes and I don't wash my hair
like if everything stays still
then you will still be here
I want to come over in the middle of the night
and you comfort me
and you come for me
I want something so pure and green
that I'm not crazy and you still want me

I am warm like the sun in the winter
that feels far but loves you
and lives to dream of you
I want to come over in the middle of the day
and it's all okay
and it's all the same

I have the dream with all my friends,
the world just stops and then it ends
and I love you through it all
I wake up, the snow falls
Track Name: nothing
hey baby you can change your name but you can't change what you did
to me like I am nothing
standing still in the snow just to be alone
getting high in the dark to forget who you are
I don't know my body anymore, do you?
I don't know my body anymore, what did you do?
'don't act out, close your mouth, be a good girl for me now,
you're so sweet when you say nothing'
I go outside, I close my eyes, I want to be swallowed in light,
I never am, I go inside, I think of you all night

hey baby you can change your mind but you can't change what you are
when it's you all alone, lying in the dark
you don't own my body anymore, do you?
you don't own my body anymore, what did you do to me?
I was fine, I was good, always did what I should
look at me, look at this, how I move just to exist,
I'm so high I can't breath, hold me down, laugh at me
say I am just nothing, until I am just nothing
Track Name: prophet
I get in my car and I just drive to where you are
and it's like heaven isn't far, it's just a few miles away
and it's just starting to rain
I drift in and out of the room where you live
like I'm a dream that's traveling
and I come to you like a prophet
any time you want it

I want to die next to you while I'm saying something boring
I want to die next to you and do it every morning
my body's running out of time so I just let my hair down
and look at you that way you like
and try to keep my food down
this life is small and full of pain
but you could make me dinner
screaming through the summer rain
we wake up all your neighbors
it's always been you that I want to run to
just leave on a light and I will come home soon
I know you don't like a lot of things about me
but if you close your eyes then you can just feel me
baby, please

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