VOLK – Welcome To Cashville

Yesterday was Valentines Day. If I was a blogger of any note, I would have found the most loving, schmaltzy piece of music to share and then praised it to high heaven. Anything to increase the hits, eh? There are artists who release Christmas songs because they think that such tactical consideration is the path to fame and wealth. Those that drown you with their saccharine love on February 14th take such cynicism to a whole new level. I chose instead to take a day away from blogging. 

One suspects that VOLK are pretty unlikely to sell their souls to the PR machine. I ask the raucous, cowpunk duo from Nashville what they’d like to see happen in 2021. 

Naive thought, but we’d get rid of all the algorithms and money obsession in the music industry and allow artists to truly follow their passions and creative whims,“, they offer. “That’s got to be better than following fads and mimicry, trying to figure out the next Instagram hack or to become a tik tok viral sensation. Honestly, it feels more like we are PR agents rather than artists these days.

That anger with parts of the music industry spews out in Chris and Eleot’s recently released single, ‘Welcome To Cashville’. If you’re looking for a tune to help dislodge the Monday morning cobwebs, this could well be the one. Rough and rambunctious, deliberately messy and boisterous, this is a song that neatly mixes rock ‘n’ roll riffage with hard-living Country. Legends of yesteryear such as Townes Van Zandt are heralded whilst the acts that depend on autotune and DJ mixes are dispatched to the garbage. Healthily theatrical, OTT and sarcastic, you can’t help but be drawn to a band who observe that “2020 has sucked more than a Nickelback double live album on loop.”

VOLK were clocking up more than 200 shows per year before the pandemic raged. It’s no surprise what Chris and Eleot want to do more than anything else right now. “The first thing we are gonna do at each of our shows after the pandemic is hug, drink with, and laugh with our good friends on the road!

Have a Rocking Monday y’all… 

Che – Mystery Team

To my shame, I’ve never been one who has spent much time in the kitchen. The thought of cooking up nice soups or of baking my own bread has always been an attractive one but the reality has always been that speedy, convenience takes over when other priorities come to the fore. I’ll put some toast in the toaster and boil a kettle if I must.

In the past, I’ve grudgingly nodded as friends have talked about the joy of the kitchen in terms comparable to the joy of sex. I’ve secretly thought that their exuberance is a tad misplaced and that Jona Lewie was probably onto a good thing when he associated kitchens with parties.

Now, I’m not saying that lockdown has changed me – old habits die hard – but I am conscious of a shift in my thinking. I’m not in the soda bread territory quite yet but I am scouring recipe books to find new and exciting things to do with a lentil. Whisper it quietly but I enjoy cranking my music up to loud and seeing what I can concoct. A newfound interest in kitchen pottering does not however mean that I’m putting myself forward to do your Christmas dinner.

Evidence would suggest that we’re all getting more familiar with our kitchens over lockdown. Che certainly has. The video for his single, Mystery Team, finds the David Bowie enthusiast taking on different guises and poses. We can’t help to be stirred as he batters his way through this steaming-hot tune for our delight. 

There are nods to Bowie. I’m pretty sure that some of the lyrical references within obliquely draw attention to Bowie’s initial efforts in 1966 and his dalliances with Tin Machine in the late 80’s yet this is also a track that stands on its own. It’s exuberant rock ‘n’ roll and lo-fi self-made garage (via the kitchen) whipped into one. You’ll have read the recipe before but will feel no contempt for the familiarity that breeds. 

Che has cooked up a kitchen treat here. I could pun all day on this but I’m probably better off just posting the song and boiling the kettle for my morning coffee. Over to you.