These Feathers Count is the second single taken from the recent solo album Happenings andKillings by Joe Volk, released on Glitterhouse records in February 2016. The track is based on a vocal line reminiscent of Pink Floyd circa Wish You Were Here sung over an atmospheric, kraut rock-esque riff. Driven along by the beat of Bristol producer Luke Harney, the musical development of the piece is aided by the bass line of Jim Barr (Portishead/Get The Blessing) who also delivers the lead guitar later in the track. Produced by Joe Volk, with additional production by Geoff Barrow, These Feathers Count is another hypnotic, entrancing and deceptively simple offering from Happenings and Killings. The video was shot and directed by the Swiss Visual Artist Yannick Mossiman, and is a visual representation of the mixed components of the song. All original material, the first half of video features moving shots from a vehicle travelling through the landscape of the Netherlands. When Jim Barr’s lead kicks in, the viewer is transported to the streets of San Francisco at night. Thrown into the mix is drone footage of SF at night, which has a haunting, surrealist atmosphere inspired by the cinematography of the film Drive. Watch here
Joe Volk is a solo artist from Bristol, England, now based in Bern, Switzerland. He was one of the first musicians signed to Invada records, headed by Portishead‘s Geoff Barrow, and has had over 13 releases on the label. On the new album, Volk worked closely with the Emmy-nominated composer Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow (the songwriting partnership behind the soundtrack to Alex Garland’s 2015 film Ex Machina), with both being credited as additional producers along with Volk. The album was mixed by Joe Volk and Jim Barr (Portishead/Get The Blessing), as well as the musician and artist Leafcutter John. The album features the three producers, along with Jim Barr, Billy Fuller (Robert Plant, BEAK>), Adrian Utley (Portishead), Mark Ophidian (US/Animals With Machinery), Guy Metcalfe (Thought Forms), Leafcutter John, LukeHarney (Typesun) and a collection of other musicians, all active in the Bristol music scene. The spectrum of the album is broad, ranging from lo-fi acoustic pieces featuring subtle analogue electronics from Ophidian and instrumentation from Salisbury, to more realised tracks, layered with Volk’s harmonies and intricate guitar work, with backing from Fuller and Barrow, who constitute the rhythm section of the band Beak>.
Joe Volk was the original singer and lyricist in the band Crippled Black Phoenix, and was signed to Domino Publishing with Justin Greaves as sole songwriters of the band. After six studio albums, one live album and several EPs, Volk left the group to focus his energy on his solo material. He was also the original singer and lyricist with hard rock band Gonga, one of the first bands signed to Invada. After leaving Crippled Black Phoenix in 2013, Volk teamed up with the experimental Japanese band Boris to release a split 12″ EP. Volk wrote, recorded and produced his tracks, and the EP was released to widespread critical acclaim. He toured the UK and Europe with Boris, and since this tour, he has been completing work on his new album in Switzerland.
Volk is also a composer, having written scores for independent European and British short films. He has had his material used by the BBC, HBO and had commissions from National Geographic. Volk contributed music to the Academy Award nominated documentary on Bristol street artist Banksy, entitled Exit Through The Gift Shop.