If Not Now When – Olly Knights

Ah OllyKnights! The voice that has followed me through the years as part of the sainted Turin Brakes; they that provided the first gig I ever took the Lad to, albums I return to time and again, shows full of warmth and intimacy, songs that provide the soundtrack to many memories. Here at last we have him in a solo capacity, stripped back to his essence after a period of apparent musical block, returning to the methods and music that transcend today’s grim fashion and fads.

Olly gives a short description of the background to this album and its making on his site that elegantly places this suite of music in its own place for him. Running  throughout is a sublime sense of closeness, a proximity and intimacy than rings true and honest, music from the heart, written and played for its own sake.

The subtle and beautiful guitar is recorded up close as if he is there with you in the room and his vocals sound as good as they have ever sounded, unforced and direct, supported by fine harmonies and instrumental accompaniment that never fight with the song, never eclipse the melody and the words. The production is clear and spacious, uncluttered by unnecessary bells and whistles. The songs are left at that ideal size, long enough to have been developed, short enough to remain vital and pure.

The single, and title track, has a sumptuous video from the talented Philip Bloom who has also recorded a documentary to sit alongside the album. The album is available through Olly’s website, released on October 22 whose limited (and signed) physical form is a lovely package of heavy weight vinyl, enhanced CD with the Bloom documenatry, lyric sheets download and other bits – hurry now before they are all gone!

The 34 minutes or so leave you soothed but invigorated, revelling in their crispness and honesty, their ability to touch and affect. Quite, quite lovely, a joyous, life affirming album and the sound of a man who has re-found his mojo.

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