The Knells' eponymous debut album is an hour-long work that blends classic and progressive rock, Renaissance-inspired vocal polyphony, symphonic lieder, jazz, and even '60s Motown vocal music into a remarkably cohesive and unique listening experience.
Sonically, The Knells employs a veritable armada of instruments, sounds, and ideas to explore a wide variety of musical spaces. Softer chamber music passages for strings, bowed percussion, and quiet guitars frequently contrast with louder, more rhythmically driven passages. The constant throughout is a trio of female vocalists that deliver hypnotic incantations — sometimes homophonically, and at other times in complex contrapuntal arrangements.
Lyrically, The Knells pays homage to the classic idea of the thematic "concept album," and examines some of the personal and eternal questions that define and confound the human search for meaning and significance. In service of this overarching theme, The Knells confronts such specific ideas as one's perception of the passage of time, the illusive nature of progress, the power of perspective in deriving meaning from one's own life, and the circular and ultimately transcendental — if somewhat violent — beauty of nature.
released 19 November 2013
Nina Berman, soprano
Amanda Gregory, mezzo-soprano
Katya Powder, alto
Paul Orbell, guitar
Andrew McKenna Lee, guitar
Michael McCurdy, drums
Joseph Higgins, bass
with special guests the MIVOS String Quartet:
Olivia De Prato, violin
Joshua Modney, violin
Victor Lowrie, viola
Isabel Castellvi and Mariel Roberts, cello
Recorded, edited, mixed, and produced by Andrew McKenna Lee at Still Sound Audio, Brooklyn, NY
The Knells are a post rock, neo-psychedelic chamber prog band from Brooklyn, NY. The New York Times describes their
eponymously-named debut album as a collection of songs that "sweep ahead, through passages of tolling solo electric guitar, of elegiac vocal melodies and harmonies, of note-bending quasi-Indian strings and guitar, of progressive-rock processionals."...more