Aidan Knight's third full-length album, Each Other, comes out Friday (January 22) on Outside — and not a moment too soon. The follow-up to 2012's Small Reveal, Each Other's initial fall 2015 release date was pushed back in order to give Knight more time to tour Europe. But there was a time when the record almost didn't come out at all.
Knight reveals to Exclaim! that he "gave up" for two months after recording the album. Unlike his previous albums, Each Other was recorded live off-the-floor, a decision Knight credits to producer Marcus Paquin, whose engineering credits include records by Arcade Fire, the National and Stars. "Marcus and I had some conflicts at first," Knight admits. "I didn't realize we were making this live off-the-floor recording, and it sorta took me by surprise."
Knight's frustrations increased after bassist Colin Nealis came down with "ear distortion problems" and drummer David Barry decided to go back to school. The unexpectedly different recording process and the stress of losing two bandmates took its toll on Knight.
"This long extended period of trying to figure out the release of it just really had me thinking, 'Do I want to release this? Do I wanna just give up now and think of taking a new career path?' Sometimes it gets dark in between those periods of having fun with your friends making music."
Ultimately, the struggles taught him about the power of collaboration. "What happened was that enough people were really invested in it," says Knight, referring to his record label and other team members.
Though the process was difficult, Knight looks back on it optimistically and cites what he learned about collaboration as the biggest lesson learned from creating the record: "That act of letting go and giving up and relinquishing some control actually made things happen. I learned this lesson about stepping back and not being so precious about every little thing.
"When you give control and ability and power to other people to do things that they feel strongly about — in this case, people felt strongly about this record and wanted it to be released — they took up that flag, and started seeing better results than me just going out and trying to shill this recording."
Moving forward, Knight is excited about sharing and promoting the finished product, and is proud of his latest creation and the tumultuous process that shaped it. "I'm hoping that it will be received better than anything that I've done before, but if it's not, I think I'm in a better place mentally right now that I won't be like, 'I should've just quit,' because now I feel like it's worth it for me to see this release happen."
Knight has a series of upcoming European tour dates, and you can see all those here.