Knells - The Knells II

SKU Still Sound 002
Nina Berman, soprano
Charlotte Mundy, mezzo-soprano
Blythe Gaissert, contralto
Paul Orbell, guitar
Andrew McKenna Lee, guitar
Jude Traxler, percussion, Rhodes, electronics
Jeff Gretz, drums
Joseph Higgins, bass

The Knells return for a second helping. The line-up is a little smaller than before, but it still features the distinctive three female vocals front line! Having seen them twice, and now, with a fine second album, I can't decide if I like them better on record or live, but boy, I sure like them!

"The brainchild of guitarist and composer Andrew McKenna Lee, The Knells trace their roots back through nearly 1000 years of western classical music and refract them through the lenses of progressive, psychedelic, and experimental rock. On Knells II, the band further refines their unique sound with a collection of songs that seek emotional absolution beneath their dark-hued facades.
The second album from Lee and his art rock ensemble finds the group diving deeper into heavier subject matter, though the songs themselves are earthier and more raw. The lyrical themes on Knells II are also more straightforward, as Lee ponders emotional reconciliation — taking painful experiences like his father’s death and finding more nuanced perspectives on them — and then imbuing them with more positive interpretations. “Sub Rosa” offers a lesson on appreciating time and letting go of the past amid an upbeat arrangement. “Poltergeist” weighs unhealthy obsession and self-defeating compulsion against the strength of one’s own will, and “Could You Would You” examines making difficult decisions and finding courage. The overall form of the album — a large, symmetrical arch — is a cohesive, unified statement, declared on the album’s opener, “First Song”: through acceptance is freedom.
The Knells were born on an eight-hour solo hiking expedition in Joshua Tree National Park in May 2010. Alone in the desert, Lee took his admiration for music on a spectrum encompassing everything from medieval vocal polyphony to mid-80s pop/rock and hardcore, and fashioned a project all his own. Combined with admiration for ‘60s pop vocal groups and boredom with the typical rock band archetype, Lee and soprano Nina Berman, mezzo Charlotte Mundy, alto Blythe Gaissert, guitarist Paul Orbell, percussionist Jude Traxler, drummer Jeff Gretz and bassist Joseph Higgins reflect the dynamic, formal, and harmonic intricacies of classical music with the rhythmic energy and expressive vitality of rock."
  • LabelStill Sound
  • UPC802114322623
Your Price $12.00
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