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 (InsideOutMusic).
Fans can pre-save the first single ‘Anywhere The Wind Blows’, out 8th September 2023, and get the chance to submit their favourite song from their own ‘sophomore’ year at school for inclusion on a future playlist celebrating everyone’s favourite tracks from their schoolyears. Head here to find out how: https://forms.sonymusicfans.com/campaign/dvirgilio-morse-jennings-anywherethewindblows_presave/
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 flavour. 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 the 8th September). 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 it bodes well for us getting out there on the road and hopefully doing some live shows.”
Look out for more information in the coming weeks, in the meantime here’s a taster video from their previous album Troika – very Marrakesh Express!