Joris Voorn, Nobody Knows

Everyone is saying Joris Voorn’s new album is breathtaking. Everyone is right. Everybody knows!

The fascinating thing about Voorn’s albums is that they are so varied. Every track sounds as though it could have been produced by a completely different person. Seven years after From A Deep Place, he still manages to surprise and delight.

There is no introduction of what might be considered a proper dance beat until the third track, Homeland, and even here it is combined with beautiful vocals. Instead, Monk and A House (feat. Kid A) steadily ease us into the album, the combination of gentle sweeping sounds scattered with rhythmic ticks and overarching echoes followed by bold vocals raising (justifiably) our expectation of what is to come. Which doesn’t disappoint. He really bides his time. I bet he’s dead good at foreplay.

Vocals become more abstract in The Wild and the various layers contributing to the beat are moved gradually into the foreground, leading us to believe we might be entering the dancey mid-section of the album. The insertion of Sweets for Piano (one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever heard) and So Long (feat. Kid A) (super sad sexy vocals) is disconcerting, and it starts to feel like Voorn is doing it on purpose. He does what the heck he wants on this album and it really keeps you on your toes. It’s terribly exciting.

Ringo is more upbeat but still fairly subdued in the grand scheme of things whereas Mugged (track 8 of 12!) is where the hip thrusting (if that’s how you dance) can get going properly. But it becomes clear at this point this album just isn’t going to burn many calories. Left is very romantic and cheery but still not much of a foot tapper.

The final track rounds off how multi-faceted Voorn’s work is. A steadier drum beat and guitar riff are combined with synthy flourishes and muffled piano. Fingers squeak along the guitar strings as the track twinkles and fades to an end.

Now I’m not usually one for an album without at least three or four very dancey tracks on it. But I’m totally convinced by this. Nobody Knows is human, emotional and sexy. Voorn seems to have been highly meticulous about the level of depth he wanted to achieve. It’s quite a journey and requires some patience (and possibly solitude) to be fully appreciated, but in the end it really hits the spot.

To listen to the album follow this link:


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