Published Oct 22, 2012Small Reveal, Aidan Knight's second album, is the product of many voices. Having formed a permanent band to work with after the release of his solo debut, 2010's Versicolour, Knight was joined by his band members when it came time for him to enter the studio again. This was something Knight almost missed, having played in other bands prior to his solo venture, including stints with Dan Mangan and Hannah Georgas, but admittedly, he still prefers to have his hand in every role.
"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 shortstop, and the pitcher, and the center fielder," Knight explains to Exclaim! "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 and eyes and hands of other people, and they become these incredible things that would've never come from just myself."
Together, Knight and his band wrote and recorded Small Reveal, a collection of songs that reflect the inner dialogue of a songwriter/performer. A number of songs were written primarily by Knight, but through the perspective of other people — characters that the Victoria native fabricated in order to understand the world through another set of eyes.
"I think there are challenges to being able to create another voice," Knight says. "For me, it's about pushing my comfort zone; I'm just trying to understand another perspective through writing songs."
Knight notes Aaron Sorkin's latest TV series, The Newsroom, as an example of poor storytelling, adding, "It frustrates me to watch this show because every single character on the show is just Aaron Sorkin's voice filtered through other people; there's no perspective or voice."
A particular example on Small Reveal where Knight flourishes through his ability to tell stories is the made-up tale of a character named Margaret Downe on the sombre closing track, named after its titular character. As one of the oldest tracks off the record, Knight explains that listening back to that song helped him connect the dots between all ten tracks, in the final stages of putting together the album.
"There was this time where I just realized what the whole album was about," Knight says. "How using these different narrative voices all fit into this idea of escapism and sort of the bigger storyline, which were all these songs about songwriting and being a performing musician; about this fucked-up lifestyle.
"I feel like I've been busy putting all this energy into myself and I keep feeling so selfish about things that there's some relief in being able to tell other people's stories."
Small Reveal arrives tomorrow (October 23) via Outside Music. In support of the record, Knight has already kicked off a Canadian tour. You can see the upcoming dates below.
10/23 Regina, SK - Artful Dodger
10/24 Winnipeg, MB - The Park Theatre
10/25 Saskatoon, SK - Christ Church Anglican
10/26 Canmore, AB - Communitea Café
10/27 Vancouver, BC - The Rio Theatre
11/1 Victoria, BC - Alix Goolden Hall