words by tom johnson
The release of Knomad Spock’s debut album will be a crowning achievement, a high peak at the end of a decade-long journey. Written across the Middle East, while Muay Thai training in Thailand, while training to join a Sufi Order in East Africa, while learning Spanish in Andalucia and then moving between Hull, Cardiff, London and Bristol in the interim, the songs that feature on Winter of Discontent were never meant to be heard.
After suffering a severe depressive episode, Spock took himself away to a small, remote Scottish island and while recovering there, formed these songs into such solid sketches that he soon found himself at the closest recording studio, and committed them all to tape. The result is a special collection of songs, recorded in just four days, which nods to experimentally tinged folk works by the likes of Grizzly Bear, Radiohead, and more.
The latest single, which we’re sharing below from today, is ‘Ballad’, a striking five minutes that begins with gentle strings and a calming atmosphere before it builds into something altogether more dynamic, a rush of frenzied percussion and skewed soundscapes that feel both eye-opening and brilliantly unique.
The new record arrives on April 23rd, via Hinterland Creative – a new label formed as a platform for creative projects from a handpicked collective of northern artists. Check out the track below; here’s what Knomad Spock himself has to say about it:
“Josef Ngoy (known as Yusuf) could write poems in three languages despite no formal education. His poetry described his life as a child soldier, and his travels across dozens of countries to get to the UK. The lyrics of this song are based on conversations we had about how trauma can alienate you from your loved ones. It resonates with the experiences of many who have suffered PTSD as a result of war, and how in most patriarchal societies there are expectations to just get on with it.”
“Most of my relatives in the UK endured a brutal war in Somalia and there was something about Yusuf’s attempt to embrace his pain that always stuck with me. I’m not even sure if Yusuf is still alive—if you are, and are reading this, this one’s for you brother!”
A Music Journal ~ Issue SEVEN
Our Curious Printed Magazine
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