Kurt Knickrehm is an artist from New Castle, Pennsylvania who released A Silhouette and a well. The album revolves around an acoustic guitar and his vocals. It reminded me of early Bright Eyes. The vocals are very dramatic and often he sounds like he is lamenting or yearning for something.
Lyrics in my opinion are very important with this type of music as a couple strummed chords which are mostly major and minor aren’t the thing I usually want to focus on. The meaning of the song feels more important to me with these type of cathartic songs.
Due to the lo-fi recording I had a hard time to make out the words. Luckily, the lyrics are printed on his Bandcamp page and I was able to figure it out. The music felt very similar through the songs as the strumming style and tempo doesn't change all that much. On top of that the melancholy stays at about the same level.
The lyrics which were the main draw for me were poetic, ambiguous and poignant. Take for example “Needle and a thread” where he sings, “Comfort is a candle when you're mourning the dead” which can be interpreted in a number of different ways.
The songs are almost all over the five-minute mark. I thought there were a number of highlights like “Humanitarian” and “Wasting away.”
The recording quality is varied but the vocals were consistently thin and distant. As an engineer myself I think it would behoove Knickrehm to look into close mic-ing techniques, ways the compression can make a vocal feel more intimate and how EQ can make thin vocals sound a little full.
Knickrehm is a poet and musician who seems to just be starting out. I thought a number of the songs were notable. On that note I think a little more instrumentation here and there could help give the songs more variety. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this artist.
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