Knievel : Emerald City
Ten years after unexplainably going quiet, Knievel reappear with their first album since 2002’s B-Side compilation No One’s Going To Understand In My Way. Primarily a vehicle for the song writing of Australia’s Greatest Producer Wayne Connolly, Emerald City continues the Knievel tradition. Ten soft, languid songs built for sitting in your backyard on a Sunday afternoon, sipping a frosty beer with a few blades of grass between your toes.
In keeping with their unhurried style, sessions for the album began in January 2010 with most of it completed in five days. The subsequent 18 months utilised to write lyrics and add the occasional overdub. Mostly known within my record collection for his outstanding production on records for The Vines, Custard and The Fauves - as opposed to his who-knows work with Sarah Blasko and err, Yves Klein Blue. Here Connolly paints a picture that is brilliantly understated, allowing his deft touch with a warm tone to seep into every moment. The album can occasionally veer off course with the slower and softer numbers, but it’s up-tempo tracks like They Listen Out and The Nation Turns Its Eyes that reach for the stratosphere and attain transcendence.
For some reason I’ve always thought that Knievel would be an ideal support for a band like Nada Surf or Coldplay, and this is not meant as the putdown some may take it for. These bands all have a canny ability to intimately draw you into their world, their soaring melodic passages connecting with the listener on a purely emotional level. Whether or not we’ll ever hear the songs of Knievel bouncing around footy stadiums remains to be seen; no doubt his day job does a better job of paying the bills! But that’s the kind of band Knievel are – they fill your head with reckless and serene dreams.
BY NICK HILTON
Best Track: Emerald City
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: NADA SURF, TEENAGE FANCLUB, WELCOME MAT
In A Word: Elegant