Until now, if the name Aidan Knight sounded familiar, it’s likely because of his numerous backing contributions to bands in the Victoria/Vancouver music scene. But take a few listens to his debut Versicolour and it’s hard to imagine Knight backing up any musician other than himself.
A mix of folk and acoustic pop, Versicolour moves through many different moods. Some songs are light, others are dark and often they’re both. Opener “The Sun” starts out feeling gloomy before a glockenspiel and back-up vocals hint at the full-on release to follow, courtesy of a crescendo of strings and horns. Conversely, “Knitting Something Nice For You” begins with hauntingly delicate finger-picking before Knight’s tortured vocals and driving drums turn it into something more sinister. And then there’s “Jasper,” the sunny and uplifting finale whose joyous hymn-like refrain is damn near perfect.
Part of what makes this album so strong is the excellent arrangements and orchestration, both of which are brought out through an impeccable mix and are best listened to on a quality set of headphones. Clearly a mature songwriter, Knight shows that it’s possible to craft songs that are dense without being overwhelming and sparse without being boring.
To put it bluntly, Versicolour is a collection of beautiful songs from a promising new artist. If there’s but one complaint it’s that with eight songs in only 28 minutes, it’s over far too soon.