Bassist Eric Drew Feldman’s kNIFE and fORK Release The Higher You Get The Rarer The Vegetation… kNIFE & fORK released their sophomore album, The Higher You Get The Rarer The Vegetation, on Frank Black’s label, The Bureau. Described by Rolling Stone as, “atmospheric alchemy… sounds something like classic blues filtered through avant garde composer Tony Conrad,” it is no surprise the music has found fans in Frank Black and PJ Harvey.
kNIFE & fORK is Laurie Hall formerly of psych-punks Ovarian Trolley and currently part of the dark folk band Ruby Howl and Eric Drew Feldman, a multi-instrumentalist who has worked with some of the most influential and pioneering artists in rock, including Captain Beefheart, Snakefinger, Pere Ubu, The Pixies, Frank Black/Black Francis and PJ Harvey. The two met at a PJ Harvey concert Feldman had been playing in and developed a friendship that eventually led to a conversation about making music together.
Before they were able to explore a musical collaboration, a car accident involving Hall left her unable to play music for months. During her recovery period, Feldman, who was then touring with PJ Harvey, sent Hall a few tracks he’d composed and Hall began writing songs from her bed. From this long distance musical correspondence, kNIFE & fORK was born. The duo released Miserycord in 2004.
The Higher You Get The Rarer The Vegetation, is their second release, almost 8 years after their first. The title is a quote from Surrealist Salvador Dali and sets the tone for the record. Recorded in part at Feldman’s home studio, the musician also sought out an old haunt, taking to the infamous Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco. The venerable studio has hosted recordings of many seminal records including Captain Beefheart’s Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), Feldman’s first recorded album with the artist.
Commenting on the sound of The Higher You Get Feldman said: “Sonically, it’s more refined. Miserycord was dense. It’s leaner this time around, although will probably sound dense to some. Hopefully, I got some of the laboriousness out of my system. This time I just wanted the songs to speak for themselves.”
Laurie adds in agreement: “I like the word refined. I think that both albums are pretty intense, it’s not something you can put on as background music. It’s not easy listening. The lyrics are heavy. Song writing for me is a way of releasing heavy sad feelings, so I don’t have to walk around like that in real life. But there’s always hope in every song.”