At a time when Corona was just a Mexican beer, Sydney singer-songwriter Isobel Knight slipped into the glitz and glamour of New York City to record her new record. Two years on, the independent artist’s sophomore album, Here Now is exactly that. Knight offers an honest and intimate reflection on the world as seen by the musician, in a ten-track exhibition of her breathtaking musical skillset.
The record kicks off with lead single “Conversationalist” which flows and builds in the most gorgeous of ways, employing a trumpet and picked guitar to spur the track into bloom. It’s a tone-setter if I’ve ever heard one, yet the song’s hook “I’m not a perfect conversationalist” has a touch of irony considering the way Here Now speaks to the listener so directly.
Knight marches confidently from track to track to deliver storytelling that’s lathered with sentiment. In fact, she sings with such emotional conviction that you can pretty much pinpoint exactly the way she was feeling while recording each song. For the track “Start Again” it’s an evidently refreshed standpoint that turns infectiously jovial by the final third of the track.
The strength of the singer-songwriter’s vocals will take you by surprise once again on “Everything You Touch”. This is genuinely the only a cappella song that I have properly enjoyed. It makes Billy Joel look like a primary school talent show contestant and I would genuinely question your authenticity as a human being if this track doesn’t give you goosies.
But my personal favourite of the bunch is “Song For Woody”. It’s a raw and extremely pure dedication to American folk artist Woody Guthrie and his influence on Knight’s own songwriting.
For me, “Still Know Your Heart” has a bit of a Wolf Alice sound to it, particularly reminiscent of the group’s latest release Blue Weekend. So if you’re a fan of the London band, I couldn’t recommend this track more. The backing vocals really hit the spot and it’s topped off with a guitar solo that’s just so relevant.
The Sydney artist ends the album with a 6 and a half minute epic, “Visions” where she really channels the songwriting and vocal style of Joni Mitchell. It’s songwriting that leaves you sitting still for a few moments after the song has ended and think about everything you just heard. An eerily quaint moment that few artists are able to conjure.
You can listen to Here Now on all major streaming platforms now!