Bathed my heels in Jasper

That picture isn’t a placeholder—it’s the actual artwork of Pre-Release EP by the Victoria-based singer-songwriter Aidan Knight. He plays guitar in the power pop quintet Maurice, and as a solo artist he has released a series of low key mini-EPs through his website. The latest, Pre-Release EP, was posted in January of this year, and it is the best of the bunch. As the title and artwork suggest, it’s not intended as a stand-alone work, but is a teaser for his forthcoming (as-yet-untitled) debut full-length.

“Jasper” follows a traditional folk blueprint, with simple three-chord strumming, lap steel guitar, and banjo arpeggios. It’s the kind of tune that could have been written any time in the last 50 years, sounding timeless without pretension—don’t worry, there’s no faux-southern twang here. The lyrics, which describe bathing in a river to be reborn, presumably refer to Jasper National Park in Alberta. Given the resolute secularism of most modern indie music, it’s tempting to read the song as a celebration of communion with nature; still, it’s tough to ignore the biblical implications of lines such as “What a relief to see all your sins absolved.”

“Knitting Something Nice for You,” the second of the EP’s two tracks, takes things into a more experimental direction. Beginning with sparse acoustic plucking and synthesizer drones, the song soon swells to a chorus of densely layered vocals. Halfway through, it unexpectedly changes completely, with the sudden entrance of keyboards and drums. Even though the chord progression remains constant, it’s not until the reentrance of the vocal line that it even sounds like the same song. This ultimately gives way to an experimental noise outro, as the final 45 seconds are made up of static swells and sampled vocal loops.

Based on Knight’s written description of the EP, the songs on Pre-Release are rough mixes of tracks that will appear on the upcoming full-length. There are no other concrete details offered regarding the LP, but these songs provide a compelling reason to keep checking back for updates. The EP is available from Aidan’s website as a free 128k download, with 320k files being offered for a donation.
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  1. By That’s my man, that’s my brother on November 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    [...] that’s my brother November 4, 2009 Earlier this year, I wrote about Aidan Knight’s Pre-Release EP, a teaser previewing tracks from his then-untitled debut full-length. Although it only contained [...]

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