Follow Us on Twitter

Joe Volk - Derwent Waters Saint

Joe Volk, Derwent Waters Saint

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

FANS of Jose Gonzalez’s Heartbeats and early Boby Dylan might like to check out Joe Volk’s Derwent Waters Saint, a mellow collection of acoustic guitar based records that hint at a promising new UK talent.

Built around gentle strumming and sombre vocals, the album is a quiet wonder that rewards the patient listener in unexpected ways.

At first glance, it’s a little too quiet and occasionally depressing – but listen properly and there is a lot of depth to Volk’s work, which comes from the heart.

Opening track, You, Running, is a gentle but haunting introduction that builds meticulously towards its catchy chorus and occasional stabs of electric guitar.

While second track, The Sun Also Rises is built around some strong acoustic riffs before dropping in some piano to augment the sound.

There are times when you may wish for a little more emotion from Volk’s vocals, which are so laid back as to be virtually horizontal, especially during the really slow numbers.

Dwarf Minus, in particular, is a little too ponderous for its own good (despite clocking in at just over a minute), while Lanfranchis takes an age to properly get going.

Thankfully, in tracks like Thaumaturgist and Whole Pig, No Head Volk comes back strong and fully displays his potential – the latter even drops in some harmonica to bring about even stronger comparisons with Dylan.

That said, Derwent Waters Saint will probably be a hard sell because it lacks a genuinely stand out moment and it’s hard to hear a single that might lend it some mainstream attention.

It’ll probably become one of those albums that’s just waiting to be discovered. It’s just a question of getting out there and finding it, albeit advisedly.

Track listing:

  1. You, Running
  2. Thaumaturgist
  3. Farne
  4. This Vehicle Is Moving
  5. The Sun Also Rises
  6. Lanfranchis
  7. Watching The Crest
  8. The Weir
  9. Dwarf Minus
  10. Toecutter (Our Lady)
  11. Whole Pig, No Head