suggestioni musicali a cura di raffaello russo
Adeline Hotel–the psych-folk/indie rock project led by guitarist and vocalist Dan Knishkowy–have announced a new album, Solid Love, out May 8 on Whatever’s Clever. The new album follows Away Together, which won praise from The Wild Honey Pie, Various Small Flames, and more, with songs that “radiate with a glowing warmth” (The Grey Estates) like “the sonic embodiment of leaves changing color” (Dimestore Saints).
On Solid Love, Knishkowy is joined by guitarist Ben Seretan, bassist Andrew Stocker, pianist Winston Cook-Wilson (Office Culture), drummer Sean Mullins (Wilder Maker), vocalists Brigid Mae Power and Matt Kivel, and a host of others (full credits below).
“Solid Love,” the title track, is out now on all streaming platforms. “It’s about catharsis and the release of the creative energy we all store up, just waiting to be used,” Knishkowy writes. “Finding joy within the struggle and feeling love crystallize over time.” It opens like one big bloom; a sudden view appearing at the peak of a mountain.
The record is called Solid Love. Half of that title, at least, should be immediately apprehensible when you listen. The songs Dan Knishkowy writes and sings for Adeline Hotel are tender and frank, disarming in their commitment to treating the sweetness of love and friendship with the gravity and wonder such a subject deserves. The “solid” part might take a little longer to sink in. The band—guitarists Knishkowy and Ben Seretan, bassist Andrew Stocker, pianist Winston Cook-Wilson, drummer Sean Mullins, with a host of others joining in here and there—plays softly and spaciously, with as much emphasis on listening as on making themselves heard. The sound they conjure together is less concrete than the album title lets on: a memory of chance encounter; a few dust motes glowing in a shaft of sunlight, then drifting away from the bedroom window.
After years of releasing quasi-solo records with rotating casts of accompanists, Knishkowy assembled a settled band for the first time on Solid Love, each member of which has their own songwriting practice: “Five people with loud playing personalities, playing as quietly as possible,” as he puts it. In the unshowy intricacy of its arrangements, and in Knishkowy’s plainspoken delivery, Solid Love sometimes recalls Jim O’Rourke’s songwriter albums; in its languid gait and jazzy rhythmic elisions, it may bring to mind John Martyn. Verses blooming into choruses, chords changing with few hard distinctions between them—the songs revel in a kind of musical ambiguity that only comes when the players are intimately attuned to their companions, a looseness that seems to arrive paradoxically from deep togetherness. “‘Solid’ is less definitive, more a changing of state,” Knishkowy says. “On the verge of crystallizing, or beginning to melt away.”