Published on 5 February 2024 at 09:34

By Paul Laird

Author of "The Birth And Impact Of Britpop: Mis-Shapes, Scenesters And Insatiable Ones"


Listening to “Volta” is to experience transcendence. 

The confines of the physical state fall away. 

You can feel yourself climbing beyond “reality”. 

Yorke uses sound to create connections. 


Connections between our physical experience and whatever does, or does not, lie outside of that. Connections between our minds and our souls. 

Connections between the artist and the consumer of that art. 

Connections between strangers. 

A strange brew. 


Who knows how she does it, but somehow the vital connections are made. It is possible to label “Volta” as experimental music. 

It is possible to label Yorke as an electronic artist


But as I sit gently weeping and feeling while listening tonight I think it is more accurate to call this  soul music. 

That may seem like a stretch. 


But I am not talking about the hand clappin’, foot stompin’, funky butt of Geno Washington when I  say soul. 

I am talking about music that understands the human experience. 


Music that raises a smile of comfort at the same time as it opens the floodgates for the sorrow  deep within us to escape. 


As something like “The Grounds are Changing as They Promise to Do” soars and swells, it is  impossible not to feel - and isn’t that the real soul of soul music? It makes us feel.  


Yorke herself may reject the label - she may see it as too limiting - but I cannot think of a more  accurate way to describe what she has created and crafted.  


My own life at this moment is one of wildly contrasting emotions and experiences - all consuming  and crushing self-doubt and fears for the future, and at the same time a wonderfully comforting  peace and self-assuredness. “Volta” taps into the latter, while providing a soothing balm for the  former. Or something. 


Sweet soul music for sweet souls.


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