Aidan Knight is a five-piece band on stage and in studio but the core of the band’s sound resides in the namesake. An observer and a storyteller, Aidan Knight stores memories from the seemingly mundane and twists them into Wes Anderson-like tales. The characters that make up each song are vivid and colourful; you feel more attached to them within a five minute song than you would to most people in five years. Small Reveal was released on Aidan’s 26th birthday in 2012 and was met with wide critical acclaim. The album saw Knight veer away from the sound of his debut Versicolour and the Canadian hit, “Jasper.” Small Reveal was dark and contained a depth that displayed a songwriter who was maturing. The album took Aidan to new parts of the world, joining Irish crooner James Vincent McMorrow on a tour of the US and Canada as well as two headlining tours of Europe. In all, Aidan and the band were on tour for the better part of two years in support of Small Reveal. Aidan Knight’s new album was recorded in the small town of Bath, Ontario, just outside of Kingston, whose main industry revolves around a maximum security prison. The Bathouse studio was taken over for two weeks by Aidan and his bandmates Julia Knight, Colin Nealis, Olivier Clements and David Barry. In the role of producer was Marcus Paquin, known for his work with The National, Hey Rosetta! and Local Natives. The sessions started at 3PM and went deep into the night. The recording wasn’t an easy one – Paquin and the band would struggle over their respective processes – the tension drove the songs to a level of intensity that had been absent from previous recordings. Upon emerging from the cathartic studio experience, Aidan and the band headed back to Victoria to figure out their next move.
It all came back to Aidan, although fruitful, the recording in Bath left a lot of things incomplete. Aidan packed up and headed again cross country, further east this time, ending up in frigid Montreal, where he and Paquin sequestered themselves in Marcus’ home studio. There were five days where Aidan laid down vocals, telling the stories he had been storing for some time. It came time to mix the songs, all at various stages of completion, Aidan reached out to renowned Montreal engineer Mathieu Parisian (Patrick Watson, Karkwa, Cirque de Soleil) and the two tucked away from the coldest Montreal winter on record and dug through the numerous takes that occurred in Bath. The result is an album that pulls you in; not only to the stories being told but the tension that was present throughout the whole recording process is palpable when listening. This album is an intense, emotional listening experience, with every sound carefully thought out. Aidan Knight endured an exhausting experience that ultimately rewards the listener with an album encompassing a lifetime of emotion in a mere 40 minutes.