Posts Tagged ‘Adeline Hotel’

Where does a piece of music originate? Before decisions about form and refinement of material, before building up or carving down, before composition itself—what lies in this white room, and how does one find it? Dan Knishkowy of Adeline Hotel did not set out to answer these questions when he began recording “Good Timing”, a mostly instrumental album whose crystalline latticework of acoustic guitar marks a departure of sorts from his previous releases as a songwriter. But as he worked, he found a certain freedom in a process uninhibited by pretense. “I liked the idea of embracing that,” he says, “instead of turning this into something more conventionally polished.”

The fifth album from Dan Knishkowy’s psych-folk project Adeline Hotel is aptly named: Arriving at the end of an rougher-than-average week for our collective psyche, Good Timing feels designed to envelop and ease any troubled mind. Knishkowy interweaves crystalline acoustic guitar improvisations, creating a kaleidoscope of bright, glassy finger-picking that expands and recedes unceasingly, as if shaping itself of its own volition. Reverb functions like a distinct instrument on the album, elongating Knishkowy’s guitar work and complicating the interplay between its layers. At just 23 minutes, Good Timing’s glow is fleeting, but when it passes, it will take your troubles—or at least their sharp edges—with it. 

Knishkowy created Good Timing by layering improvised guitar parts, each one reacting intuitively to those that came before and guiding those that came after. Like a fractal blooming or a snowflake accumulating ice, the music dictated its own shape as it grew, a dynamic that is perceptible in the shifting surfaces of each piece. Rhythms unspool slowly, without tether to any strict pulse. Lines begin in apparent disarray, then converge for an epiphanic moment, then separate again. Though Knishkowy is well versed in the greats of solo guitar—among several possible connotations of the album’s title is a sly homage to a Jim O’Rourke acoustic masterwork—the effect of these multitracked pieces may have more in common with ambient music than anything from the American Primitive school. Low strings toll like distant bells; high ones sparkle like windchimes just outside the window. The physical properties of Dan’s instrument are as present in the music as his own hands.

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He arrived at this instinctual approach while working alone at home in the quarantine summer of 2020, when more precisely arranged compositions began to feel stifling. As a reprieve, he began recording the sort of ostensibly aimless music that had often uncovered the seeds of songs in the past. By centering these embryonic sounds as an expression in themselves, rather than a route to some other end, he crafted 10 pieces that glow with intimacy and presence, vessels for capturing memory in real time. “I feel like all records are approximations of your creative process, in a way” he says, “but with Good Timing, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to the source.” – Andy Cush

Released February 19th, 2021

Adeline Hotel is the New York-based psych-folk project led by Dan Knishkowy. Sharing his music with the world since back in 2014, Dan has this week announced his latest album, “Good Timing”, as well as sharing the first two pieces from it, Photographic Memory and I Have Found It. In many ways Good Timing is like an origin story for Adeline Hotel’s music, returning to the roots of Dan’s songwriting by recording, “ostensibly aimless music”. This is a world of improvisation and layering, just Dan at his guitar producing work that seems to tap into the middle ground of instrumental ambience and the American Primitive influence we’ve come to expect on his music.

Nodding to artists like Jim O’Rourke or William Tyler, on these first two tracks, without even uttering a word, Dan seems to have hit on something deeply personal, this music feels like an extension of himself, songs woven from the strings, delicate and beautiful spiders-webs of guitar. While beautiful, these are also deceptively simple, unadorned, never knowingly over-thought, the records are free from studio-trickery or any danger of overworking, tracks that are at once raw and fragile, a reminder that the roots of punk, folk and neo-classical composition all lie with a human at their core. Dan has suggested his process for Good Timing is, “the closest I’ve ever gotten to the source”, and as a result this feels like the most open, honest and quite possibly exciting he has ever sounded.

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“Good Timing” is out February 19th via Ruination Records.

Thanks to Fortherabbits

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The record is called “Solid Love”. Half of that title, at least, should be immediately apprehensible when you listen. The songs Dan Knishkowy writes and sings for Adeline Hotel are tender and frank, disarming in their commitment to treating the sweetness of love and friendship with the gravity and wonder such a subject deserves. The “solid” part might take a little longer to sink in. The band—guitarists Knishkowy and Ben Seretan, bassist Andrew Stocker, pianist Winston Cook-Wilson, drummer Sean Mullins, with a host of others joining in here and there—plays softly and spaciously, with as much emphasis on listening as on making themselves heard. The sound they conjure together is less concrete than the album title lets on: a memory of chance encounter; a few dust motes glowing in a shaft of sunlight, then drifting away from the bedroom window.

After years of releasing quasi-solo records with rotating casts of accompanists, Knishkowy assembled a settled band for the first time on Solid Love, each member of which has their own song-writing practice: “Five people with loud playing personalities, playing as quietly as possible,” as he puts it. In the un-showy intricacy of its arrangements, and in Knishkowy’s plainspoken delivery, Solid Love sometimes recalls Jim O’Rourke’s songwriter albums; in its languid gait and jazzy rhythmic elisions, it may bring to mind John Martyn. Verses blooming into choruses, chords changing with few hard distinctions between them—the songs revel in a kind of musical ambiguity that only comes when the players are intimately attuned to their companions, a looseness that seems to arrive paradoxically from deep togetherness. “‘Solid’ is less definitive, more a changing of state,” Knishkowy says. “On the verge of crystallizing, or beginning to melt away.”

Solid Love out May 8th, 2020

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The good news is that Adeline Hotel is back with a brand new album. Due for release at the end of October, “Away Together is a collection of ten songs that might signal a change in outlook, at least if lead single ‘Habits’ is anything to go by. It’s probably the happiest, most positive Adeline Hotel song to date, a fact which Knishkowy readily admits in an interview with our pals over at The Grey Estates. “‘Habits’ might be the first unabashedly joyful Adeline Hotel song,” he says, “one for windows down driving as summer fades to fall.”

This is true from the song’s very beginning, the whole thing suffused with a sense of golden sunlight, languorous percussion and dreamy guitar providing the perfect foil to Knishkowy’s smooth and earnest vocals.

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releases October 26th, 2018

Dan Knishkowy – words and guitars
Will Stratton – piano (1,2,4,5,6,8,9,10), electric guitar (1,2,4), bass (10)
Andrew Stocker – bass (1-9)
Ben Seretan – electric guitar (1-9)
Sean Mullins – drums and percussion (1-9)
Cassandra Jenkins – vocals (1,2,9,10)
Johanna Samuels – vocals (8)
Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner – lap steel (2), pedal steel (9,10), bass lap steel (10)
Winston Cook-Wilson – keyboards (3,4,7)

All songs written by Dan Knishkowy 2016-2018.