Monday, May 17, 2010

Versicolour by Aidan Knight

After years of being beside the spotlight, backing up bands, Vancouver's Aidan Knight has stepped out on his own. While working with bands like The Zolas and Maurice, he started crafting songs and over a span of two years, recording whenever he could, playing a lot of the instruments himself and enlisting in the help of Toronto's The O'Darling for various duties (including backing vocals) Knight put together his debut solo album, Versicolour.

The album kicks off with "The Sun", which is an amazing opener. It starts off soft -- and somewhat dark -- then gradually builds to a grand ending of horns, strings and what I am pretty sure is a glockenspiel. It definitely setting the stage for the rest of the album. "Fighting Against Your Lungs" feels really light and almost effortless, though when it changes up for the "extro", I can't help but feeling that could have been expanded into a song of its own. A haunting piano starts "Eyelid Clicks", before building electronic feedback adds to the mood, and "Altar Boys" can only be described as beautifully melancholic. "North East South West" is another song that swells to a rich ending, while "Knitting Something Nice" starts off gentle and light, but gradually turns a little darker, both musically and lyrically. That is countered as the album comes to a close, with "Sorrows" being more or less an a capella intro to "Jasper", Knight's voice mixing with those of The O'Darling brilliantly. And much like how "The Sun" was the perfect opener, "Jasper" is the perfect closer. It is uplifting and beautiful, and you can't help but smile while listening to it.

I don't think it's a secret that I have a soft spot for strings and horns in my music, and when someone as talented as Aidan Knight can arrange them into something like this, well, I was won over half-way through "The Sun" on my first listen. And I have no doubt that song will remain one of my favourites of the year.
My only problem with the album is that it is much too short. With only 8 tracks and clocking it at just under half an hour, it feels like it's over before it had a chance to begin. I can't help but think that if it were an EP, it would have been perfect.
But aside from that, it is a stellar debut album and shows Knight has talent to spare. He can make songs minimal without being dull, or rich without being overwhelming, and add depth to the most simple sounding song. There is no doubt that after this, he deserves to step into the spotlight on his own.


Download The Sun

Download Knitting Something Nice

Download Jasper

Clicky to exchange monies for music

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