John's Track of the Week: "Island, IS"

Song: Island, IS
Artist: Volcano Choir
Album: Unmap
Year: 2009

Last year, Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago took the indie music world by storm. People were obsessed, especially with tortured campfire acoustic number, "Skinny Love." The album as a whole was also a solid effort, all turned in by Wisconsin's Justin Vernon, who put it together by himself in a cabin. Now, after years of trying, Vernon's finally a relevant entity on the indie scene, and thus has the luxury of pursuing ambitious side projects. His first, Volcano Choir, in conjunction with fellow Wisconsinites, Collections of Colonies of Bees, turns in an effort completely unlike each artists' respective work, experimenting with sound and ambience on a superior level-- most apparent on first single, "Island, IS."

What makes "Island, IS" stand out amidst a crowd of "cool new things" in music today is its organic combination of such different aesthetics into just one track. Employing Middle Eastern sounds, folk and ambient electronic soundscapes, the song seemingly defines experimental, yet the appeal pulls any listener right past that label. It pulls you in immediately, as a track shrouded in intrigue and mystery. Each listen, you're digging for something new to take out of it, and surprisingly, some new feature does, indeed arise. If you haven't heard yet, you'll want to do so, with the track below, courtesy of Stereogum. Volcano Choir's Unmap just came out yesterday, so for those worried about missing the boat, it's still early enough for you to hop on.

[Previously on Animal Noises: Tuesday's Releases (9/22): Now Streaming]

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