Our Song of the Day is from the experimental Canadian outfit Aidan Knight who release their new album Small Reveal in the UK on April 7 2014, through Outside Music. They’ve just released a video for the track (& our Song of the Day) Margaret Downe which you can watch below. This a real heart wrencher of a song, and reminds me a lot of Townes Van Zandt…and that’s saying something! If you like the sound of this then make sure you catch them at London’s Sebright Arms on April 16 2014.
Aidan Knight, despite the name, is actually a five-piece band but the story of this album will appeal to many…
The roots of Small Reveal began way back in early 2012, in a similar rustic surrounding to that of Versicolour – a cabin without running water in Canada’s rural British Columbia.
Armed with a frightening expensive array of recording equipment (transported by wheelbarrow, naturally), Olivier Clements, Julia Wakal, David Barry, Colin Nealis and Knight set to work in a forested spot with a cast iron stove and swimming hole nearby. After a week sequestered away from society and now armed with 15 brand new song skeletons, they loaded back onto a boat and returned home to Victoria, to spend the next few months quietly reworking the music. Finally, in May of 2012, the band, joined up with producer and engineer Jonathan Anderson (who was at the helm of Versicolour).
Using the reverberant sounds of hanging guitars in an empty music store and the echoing hallways of family homes, Knight and his collaborators created the swirling cinematics of Small Reveal across just 10 days in 10 different recording spaces. The ad hoc nature of the album’s recording is a fitting mirror to the omniscient narratives that Aidan Knight so convincingly inhabit across Small Reveal. The shimmering orchestration of ‘A Mirror’- flecked with touches both of Sufjan Stevens’ symphonic pop & Wes Anderson soundtracks- lifts Knight’s tale of a lovelorn grocery clerk from the mundane to poetic, whilst ‘Skip’ is a homage to deceased straight edge hardcore frontman Frank Candelori- ‘when all of the edges aren’t straight / will you withstand it or let it break?’. The disparate stories encountered across Small Reveal are nonetheless drawn together by the constant ebb and swell between the sparse and the all-consuming. Album standout ‘You Will See The Good In Everyone’ spools out from its elegiac beginnings into a whirring, billowing breakdown, whilst at the album’s exposed heart, ‘Margaret Downe’ candidly traces the tragic arc of a doomed relationship.
The camaraderie of the band was integral to the making of Small Reveal, 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. This is an album of music about creating music, the escapism in it and the uncomfortably honesty that hopefully shows itself.”