By Melody LauNo longer a one-man act, Aidan Knight's second album, Small Reveal, does two things: expand in size and sound while simultaneously drawing inward for its subject matter. Having a proper band back Knight up not only helps drive a more cohesive sound than its predecessor, 2010's Versicolour, it also ensures a fuller, more embellished one without ever compromising Knight's thoughtful songwriting. Knight goes deep within the psyche of a songwriter and performer in numbers that often veer into another person's perspective. Small Reveal is a record that takes its time to unravel through five-minute-long plots and instrumental interludes, and is ultimately a significant step in the right direction.
What's the biggest difference between Versicolour and Small Reveal? One of the biggest differences was this was the first fully collaborative album I've made with my band.
How is it working with a band now, as opposed to working solo? Do you prefer one over the other? When I was a lot younger, if I was on a baseball team, I probably had a secret fantasy to clone myself because I wanted to be the short stop, pitcher and center fielder. But I think my life experiences have changed that. I think part of me still likes to have my fingers in a lot of things, but I think there's something to be said about creating stronger ideas or sounds when they're filtered through the ears, eyes and hands of other people and they become these incredible things that would've never come from just myself.
Is it strange to still use your name now that you have other people playing with you? It's probably strange for the rest of the guys in the band, say if we're in a loud bar in Sarnia, Ontario and people are asking what band you play in. It's a very roundabout explanation; it's pretty difficult to describe that you're in a band called Aidan Knight or to say, "We are Aidan Knight." But there are still songs on the record that I have more of a hand in and I've already done all this work to make a name for myself. We love Patrick Watson and Dan Mangan, who have these editorial voices in the band, but their cast of players are just as important, so I took a lead from those groups.