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B R I G H T N E S S
TEETHING’
Please credit label as (I OH YOU) 

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Listening to Teething could be seen as like leafing through the scribbled diary of Alex Knight, a diary that candidly documents phases of uncertainty, dread, confusion and wonder.

It wasn’t until late 2015 when Alex decided to “quit his life” in London after 6 years and return to the fringe of Newcastle, Australia, a short distance from the region of Lake Macquarie where he was raised. Towards the end of his time in London, provoked by a sense of frustration and confinement, Alex penned and produced Teething, a debut record for his solo performative, ‘Brightness’.

On Teething, Alex details a certain frankness and inexperience that is unashamed. Written and recorded within bedroom walls, it’s loosely woven together, but the disparity is an agreeable fault. It feels like songs were written in two different headspaces, by possibly two different bands – and that’s okay.

From a certain intensity and weight that comes with city life emerges a soundscape that is both expansive and intimate. Alex’s lyricism is often quite pointed and pulsating with nerve, a contrast to the warmth and borderline fuzziness of the guitar lines. This division is exemplified most explicitly on album opener ‘Oblivion’, an upbeat shoe-gazer which has Alex describing “witnessing somebody mentally unravel and being unable to help them “.

On the same debut sits ‘Talk To Me’, this song has Latin slow dance undertones with a simple intent to create a heartening atmosphere where the stress of inexperience is brushed from your shoulders and faded out with the sound of mellow horns. “It’s all right if you’re not sure how to do it, you’re in perfect company” he sings.

The bleak instrumental ‘Blow Fly’ arrives like an eclipse, and the temporary dusk invites an oblique, deranged conversation with the aforementioned insect (‘Silver Birch’), followed by a fantasy written from a witness to the events leading to the beheading of John the Baptist in ‘Holy John’.

“Where to start? I guess you already know you’re the love of my life.” With the shadows receding comes the first line of “Waltz”, an acoustic lullaby recorded using a single microphone onto an old 1/4″ ‘reel-to-reel’. It’s a short, dusty number whose conversational style recalls early Cat Power or Elliot Smith. Speaking of Smith, Alex played all the instruments himself, barring guest spots from pedal steelist Harry Bohay and bassist Robert Walters. The result is music that’s unusually intimate and personal, like a late night phone call with a close friend: as if Alex is somehow listening to you as much as you are listening to him.

‘TEETHING’ – DUE FOR RELEASE 30 JUNE 2017 VIA I OH YOU

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