If his dynamic performance with Dan Mangan in their recent Calgary show wasn't enough, Versicolour, Aidan Knight's first release, is enough to convince anyone that this is a songwriter with some serious talent. It may be his debut album, but the experience gained from working as a backing musician for established bands such as Mangan, and The Zulus has translated into the polished quality of this release. The depth of the sound is clearly the product of someone who knows what's what.
If you're looking for smooth, slow-burning tracks Versicolour delivers. The lyrics are personal but easily digested by any listener. Exploring acoustic waltz and piano ballads, Knight brings a lot of different elements to the table, complementing the acoustic guitar with both horns and strings on tracks such as "The Sun."
Maybe it's the steel guitar on "Jasper," the warm Rufus Wainwright-esque vocals on "Eyelid Clicks", or it might just be Versicolour's varied instrumentation -- everything from acoustic guitar to bowed glockenspiel -- but the disc offers up a soundtrack for quiet reflection.
Flicking back and forth from youthful memories to heart wrenching nostalgia, Versicolour guides listeners through stories long forgotten. It's a reminder that maybe things aren't great and they haven't been great in the past, but there's always light somewhere -- sometimes you just have to look for it.
And, of course, there is just something inescapably beautiful about Knight's pedal steel.