Aidan Knight
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Aidan Knight

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative Folk

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Three days before the completion of his latest album, Aidan Knight was reviewing the new songs. While trying to put a name to the work, he stumbled upon a short film by Eliot Rausch titled What I Have To Offer.

Featuring candid images of visual artists, musicians, and athletes doing what they do, the video showcased excerpts from a BAFTA lecture by legendary screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind, Adaptation). The screenwriter's thesis: courage, vulnerability?, and honesty are what separate art from commercial entertainment. Inspired by Kaufman's words, Knight found a title that perfectly expressed the songs on his sophomore album Small Reveal.?? - CBC Music


THE INNER WORKINGS OF A ONE-MAN BAND

Aidan Knight has undergone a transformation. It was two years ago that the Victoria songwriter wowed us with Versicolour, but Knight began primarily as a soloist, having his “Friendly Friends” accompany him on the record and on tour.

On this upcoming record, Small Reveal, Knight and his “Friends” (comprised of Olivier Clements, Julia Wakal, Dave Barry and Colin Nealis) worked together on the music and were all very much a part of the process from its infancy, developing Aidan Knight’s title into a namesake for the entire band. Knight explains, “All of the people that play on Small Reveal also all played on Versicolour, but they didn’t play until after I had worked through everything myself.” The process of this new album was completely collaborative, contrasting the solo work on the previous album. Versicolour had been an emotionally haunted collection of Knight’s pensive poetry. Brought to life with anodynic harmonies that set the tone for his amorous acoustic musings, it altogether created a very personal album. “When someone makes something that’s so open about themselves, there’s a certain sense of vulnerability that I think really speaks to me when I hear that in other people’s work, or see it on a wall or read it in a book. That’s the kind of thing that I myself identify with.”

In Small Reveal however, Knight treads into uncharted territory and does something we haven’t previously heard in his music: storytelling through fictitious characters, with each splaying their various insights. “There are a certain number of songs that are on this record that are not me. They’re either told as a narrative about a character, or provide the character’s actual voice. That’s a completely new thing for me, I didn’t do any of that on Versicolour.” It’s funny to consider that for someone who is seemingly so accustomed to divulging the intricacies of his own psyche, Knight seems rather comfortable with this transition into a new, more external form of source-material. “I love truly emotionally devastating music. Really uncomfortably personal, savoury songwriting. There’s something really great about being able to stare into the soul of a songwriter and really be able to see what they’re about in terms of their work,” he confesses. “But, at the same time, I think there is a need for someone who is creative to retreat into other characters and I just find it interesting to be able to write songs from other perspectives — I find there’s a real art in it.”

For example, the band’s single from the album, “A Mirror,” focuses on an unrequited love and intriguingly explores that concept from a feminine perspective. I ask if he really can feel completely removed from these characters. “I’m an observer and so a song like ‘A Mirror’ is all observational, but they also come from completely fictitious places,” he elaborates. “Though, I would say it’s impossible not to have a certain level of transport in your characters. That there are parts of your voice or turns of phrase that will just naturally find it’s way into the writing. I’m sure feelings I’ve had end up being injected into these songs. It’s part of being human and sympathetic.”

To record the music for Small Reveal, the band filled up their cars and hauled a huge quantity of recording equipment deep into the forest. Settling in at an isolated rustic cabin in British Columbia, they continued to experiment and play around with different song ideas. Inspired by subtleties, their creativity continued into the ranging hollow acoustics of echoing hallways in various family homes and music stores, where they recorded the sounds of suspended guitars. Knight notes that he sought to find such multidimensional surroundings, as they were “the spaces [that] were integral to the sonic characteristics of the album.”

It wasn’t until the entire recording process was complete that the band began to understand what exactly they had just finished, in the sense of an actual album. In consonance with the character narratives, they had all contributed to making a type of music that was truly about creating music, somewhat of an intrinsic concept to have recognized more fully during those active moments. “For an album that we recorded over an entire year, there were times of real intensity, and then there were a lot of spaces in between to think about what we had just accomplished,” Knight reflects, “but this sort of clarity that happened at the end, was listening to all the songs and realizing what we had made was more thematic and put together than anything that we could have ever preconceived. The idea that we had made an album about the frustrations and joyfulness of creating music, it’s, in a way, very meta, and I think it’s an interesting idea. We didn’t necessarily set out to make a concept record, but it was great to be able to step back and sort of look at the whole thing and realize that’s what we had done.”

The positive receptio - Beatroute.ca


Folks in and around British Columbia’s music scene know Aidan Knight as a talented backing musician who would serve as a fine addition to their band. Yet finally, on Versicolour, Knight gets his time in the sun on this oddly charming and delightfully catchy release. Beginning with the subtle, chamber-pop touch of “The Sun”, Knight’s ability to weave a path between simple acoustic stylings and larger ideas rich with opportunity becomes evident throughout Versicolour. Though the eight songs never grow into something out of control, they move with a kind of poetry so dense that emotions are very easily stirred. Knight’s haunting approach to delivering his lyrics works in near perfect synergy with the delivery of his shuffling masterpieces. Closing with Knight’s foray into Americana, “Jasper” provides some of Versicolour’s deftest harmonies and not only leaves listeners with a good taste in their mouth, but renders many excited about the wealth of possibility in Knight’s future. - Pop Matters


It's very fitting that BC's Aidan Knight is traveling the West Coast in the luxurious comfort of Dan Mangan's van. That comparison isn't based on a similarity of sound, more that both BC boys have that something... whether it's the ability to turn the simplest of chords into something meaningful, the subtle turn of phrase that puts you along side them as the story is told or how they can cram layer after layer into a beautiful composition and never get lost in the mix. Whatever "it" is, both young song writers possess that talent in spades.

The thing is while Dan is a bar room prophet, a man observing the human condition from the stool in the bar or restaurant, Aidan Knight comes across as more of an innocent, wide eyed poet. By no means is that a slight, as Versicolour effortlessly strips away the stress of life with each picked riff, vocal harmony (courtesy of the lovely girls in O'Darling) and subtle nuance that catches your ear as you listen to Knight's 8-song debut.

If I had to pick a single moment of Versicolour, it would be the gentle collage of banjo and steel that run alongside the summery guitar of Jasper, and the immediate release you feel. Be it the baggage of stress or heartache, it's hard to focus on Aidan's lyrics because the three and a half minutes transports you to a better time. It's impossible to see this song through Knight's eyes, as he paints a scene we all hold close. I'd say it's that freedom of youth, but that would trivialize the emotion he delivers. Some people find salvation singing in church, letting the sway of the congregation cleanse their soul. Aidan lets us feel that same relief just by triggering memories when life just made sense.

That's not to say this record lacks depth or maturity. Knight moves from sun to shade nicely throughout this quick hitting LP; the beautiful Altar Boys is heavy in melancholy, Knitting Something Nice For You makes a song about knitting like a metaphor for a heroine user and even the opening number, The Sun uses atmosphere and piano to set a darker tone before horns and harmonies brighten the affair) - it's just when his melodies float along Fighting Against Your Lungs, the songs tend to soar.

Regardless, whether he tends to look for the sun or relish the shadows, it's pretty obvious Aidan will be successful. I wouldn't bank on the astronomical leap his current tour mate has seen, but I'm pretty sure once people get their hands on Vescicolour and give the record a few plays, he's no longer going to be an unknown solo artist playing in support for other bands. - Herohill


has always been known as the back-up guy. He's been in the Zolas, Counting Heartbeats, Maurice and more. But now, he's about to release his debut solo full-length, Versicolour, and get his first taste of being front and centre.

Sticking with his friends has in no way been a bad thing. Knight stayed with Maurice for the recording of their new album, Young People With Faces, which comes out on the same day as his on March 2. He almost went on tour as Yukon Blonde's bassist in the U.S., recently wrapped a tour with Dan Mangan and is about to embark on his first cross-Canada tour with We Are the City. Knight even has had a ton of help from Said the Whale: the band's Tyler Bancroft created record label Adventure Boys Club just for Versicolour.

Knight describes all of these experiences as fate, but also credits it to networking around his hometown of Victoria and neighbouring Vancouver. "I feel really lucky to be able to play with so many great bands and still be able to do my own thing as well," he said in a recent interview with Exclaim!

One of the most interesting collaborations for Knight at the moment is with Bancroft and the creation of Adventure Boys Club. "He was the one who was like,' I believe in your music [and] that a lot of people would like to hear it,'" said Knight.

The now-front-man was completely sold when the pair decided to make the label a partnership. "I don't really know exactly what I do and he does," said Knight. "We just work together and we're like the Wizard of Oz, I guess, combined. We're like one big floating head."

Knight admits the label came at the perfect time for him. "I want to be 100 percent into something right now, and if some people believe that I can do my music, and I believe in my music, then maybe I could just be my own boss and I could go and just try and do the impossible thing, which is be an independent Canadian musician." And soon, Knight and Bancroft will be someone else's bosses, as they plan to add more releases to the roster.

As for Versicolour, which features Toronto, ON outfit O' Darling and musician/producer Jon Anderson as Knight's back-up band, it will be available to purchase in stores throughout Canada for only six dollars. Knight has even already given away two of the album's songs for download, and four more stream on his Facebook and MySpace pages.

"I don't know why people would buy the rest of the album, it's really hard for me to believe that anyone buys CDs anymore," he says. "Right on the back of the CD, I'm like, 'hey, if you want to do anything with this album, if you want to spread it around and give it to your friends and you think that they would enjoy the music, then that's great.'" - Exclaim!


Discography

Small Reveal (Outside) 2012
Friendly Fires 7" (Adventure Boys Club) 2010
Versicolour (Adventure Boys Club) 2010

Photos

Bio

Two years can go by in the blink of an eye, or can stretch into a prolonged series of cross-country tours, weddings, funerals, rehearsals, odd jobs and getting your drivers license. Just ask Aidan Knight, the 25 year old songwriter and namesake of the Victoria-based band who unveil their second album Small Reveal on October 23rd

Knight and his collaborators (Julia Wakal, Colin Nealis, David Barry and Olivier Clements) created the swirling cinematics of Small Reveal in a whirlwind 10 days in 10 different recording spaces. The comraderie and the contributions of the band were integral to the process, Aidan explains; “Everything from horn arrangements to drum fills, they're things that I could never make up on my own. They're impossible; Only happening because of those 5 people in that certain space. The most powerful ideas are the ones that we never could have expected."

Small Reveal presents songs about songwriting, escapism in characters, and the oftentimes, fleeting nature of creativity. The result is an exciting yet dreamy, lushly-arranged record that swells and ebbs around the captivating focal point of Aidan’s voice. “We created something personal but omniscient, something ragged but polished, something that was reflective of what it means to spend a year crafting something that isn't revealed until the very last day. Unhurried. This is an album of music about creating music, the escapism in it and the uncomfortable honesty that hopefully shows itself.”