Rogues & Blushing Virgins

Christian DeArmond & Helena Berlin

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Three songs about swindlers, supplicants, and the bad blood between them. It's troubled folklore...Americana in a foul mood.

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  1. 1 Dive 03:19 Lyrics
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  2. 2 Dark Day Darling 03:49 Lyrics
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  3. 3 Jericho River 03:52 Lyrics
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Found a new sound…

You’re stuck and bored. What to do? Search for new sounds.
How? Play new instruments; work with new people, in this case songwriter Helena Berlin, whose imagination looms large.    
Throw out your rules.
Succumb to her rules.
Make new rules.
Break new rules.
Write and re-write. And do it again.
Visit a new place: uncover a new world. If it only exists in the heads of two people…well, so much the better. You two control the lives living there. Argue about those lives, those stories. Make them better.
Then make them much, much worse.
Make a plot.
Lose the plot.
Tear up the plot & throw the whole damn thing up in the air and see what lands. 
Blood on the Frozen Sand was the first one. It let you know what was oozing from the pen.
Write and re-write.
Headlights Carve next, a set of spoken word weirdness, found sounds & failed experiments. But, some new discoveries in that, new intrigues…
Finally – Rogues & Blushing Virgins – it took us a few years to get here, after running around in the dark without torches, hoping for the light of day.
It’s dark, it’s done and we hope you like it.


a note from Helena Berlin

Collaborative song writing is a bit like a murder ballad. It concerns two people who, on some level, love each other. Sometimes fiercely.  Yet in the end, someone is going to end up floating face down in a river.
I mean that metaphorically, of course. Sort of.
Fortunately Christian D. and I are still drawing breath after finally completing Rogues  & Blushing Virgins. Writing these songs was, in equal measure, a labour of love and a labour of angst. Our collaborations are always loaded and testy. They resemble that simmering antecedent to a marital blow-out. In retrospect, however, I think that fuming  energy worked.  Vitriol aside, Christian and I land on common ground in our love of narrative songs. Rogues draws from that tradition.
A brief exposition of the three songs, then, if you’re interested…
Rogues & Blushing Virgins is the aftereffect of three images that came to me a couple of years ago, while driving with Christian through a solemn, churchy little town somewhere up north. Three characters appeared to me: a ragged woman standing on a bridge, calculating the distance of the drop (Dive); a young man watching her, weighing his moral obligation to save her, (Dark Day Darling); and a storyteller who swears the shit he witnessed in a solemn, churchy little town was all true (Jericho River).
Christian and I are now finishing our next EP, Lament for Young Cain. We will strive to steer clear of any and all rushing bodies of water.

~Helena Berlin

Helena's Blog

Harsh Lessons

A couple of years ago, Christian asked me to give him piano lessons. I was wary of this undertaking, mainly because we are polar opposites in our approach to anything creative or instructive, and we’re prone to epic spats. I…Read more

Labour of Angst-

Collaborative song writing is a bit like a murder ballad. It concerns two people who, on some level, love each other. Sometimes fiercely.  Yet in the end, someone is going to end up floating face down in a river.
 …Read more


The Bucket list Music review

by Angie Radczenko

The imagery conveyed Christian DeArmond and Helena Berlin’s three-song album made it tough to write a review instead of a story, even before I hit play on Rogues & Blushing Virgins. The description of the album intrigued me. “Three songs about swindlers, supplicants, and the bad blood between them. It’s troubled folklore… Americana in a foul mood.” Troubled folklore, I dig that.


The first song, “Dive,” hypnotised me within seconds. DeArmond’s spoken words came in with a sense of doom punctuated by piano touches and my voice fetish approved big time. I couldn’t help but get a Leonard Cohen vibe off this track. Enter Helena’s beautiful haunting backing vocals, and this track gave me chills, over and over. When some guitar hit around the two-minute mark, it was the perfect shred of dread that brought this song to a close soon after. It’s safe to say I loved this song, yep.

Next up was “Dark Day Darling,” and it had a lighter sound to it. However, with lyrics like, “Saw her drawing blood from the ground. She buried her misery down and down,” and each drum pound and guitar whine turning the tone into gloom, I was happy that the darkness was still there. I’m going to hazard a guess that Nick Cave was an influence because the track gave me the same dark comfort his music does. Not to mention, DeArmond’s voice in this track makes me liken to Cave as well.

The final song, “Jericho River,” had a more upbeat sound with a touch of rockabilly, but, again, that dark vibe shone throughout. An excellent guitar break came in at around a minute and forty-seconds, and I loved the little “yeaaa” just before it did. Dunno why, but I did. I just love the little things. The track was catchy, and made this album a three-for-three in my books!


the Sphere Music review:

It would be unfair to describe the works of singer-songwriter in just three words: sex, rage and sorrow. Though I would say they do stand out in his his body of works that spawned many releases.However, he sounds gentler in this new release. More..friendly for lack of better words. The new EP is called Rogues & Blushing Virgins. Newsflash! Not everyone is feeling bright and bouncy this season. That is why there is always a room for this new release in the hearts of people like us!

Water is a dominant theme in this EP. Whether it is about lamenting a lost love under the falling rain or following a ghost to the river, Rogues & Blushing Virgins is a cohesive project. The airy voice of Helena Berlin is featured in all the tracks. The three songs are Dive, Dark Day Darling and Jericho River.

Jericho River reminds me of True Detective, the first season. And hey the producers of the show should spotlight this release for their future seasons. So yes please, give this EP a listen because it satisfies the reality hiding inside us…more than we want to admit.

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