For an album that was born from the aftermath of police brutality, there is certainly dark and sinister undertones to this album which is filled with variety and depth.
Yet, if you listen closely there is also plenty of hope and positivity that also comes through on the album, helped by the accurate and delicate performances of Amino Belyamani (piano), Sam Minaie (bass) and Qasim Naqvi (drums).
There is a mystical feel about what Jewell has achieved on this album, sweeping listeners to distant lands to explore different musical sounds. For example, just by listening to ‘Patnos Logos’, you almost get the feeling that you are in India and other places that are filled with light and colour. This may seem slightly poetic but the music sweeps you far away from your troubles.
Occasionally, you might get the feeling that some of the music is slightly superficial and cold such as on ‘Kun Mun Kultani Tulisi’, but the music does make you use your imagination when you listen to it in a way that doesn’t normally happen when listening to an album.
Pleasingly, there is also many surprises on Volk as well, that means you are never completely sure which direction the music is going to take. Evidence of this can be found by listening to ‘Give Us a Drink of Water’, which has a completely different vibe to anything heard so far on the album. It certainly sounds bolder and more confident but also is more joyful in comparison to earlier tracks – filled with hope perhaps.
It is a strong album overall, but the track ‘Radegast’ doesn’t feel as though it really works on the album. Although it stands out, it sounds like it is standing out for all the wrong reasons – it is too chaotic and too energetic and doesn’t have any real purpose on the album.
But Volk still manages to finish on a positive note with ‘Black is the colour (of my true love’s hair)’ which is simple, stylish, effective and memorable. A perfect end to a strong album.
Volk will be released on September 29th.