Album of the Week: Bent Knee’s Land Animal

Land Animal by Bent Knee

Land Animal by Bent Knee

If you take a look around and venture through the cracks of the music spectrum, you’ll discover something that’s akin to a mad scientist combining a bunch of elements that usually wouldn’t go together to create a brilliant compound. Over the past few years, numerous bands are melding peculiar styles with each other to create uncanny sounds and new genres. One of those acts is Boston art-pop act Bent Knee. They blend orchestral tones, rock riffs and progressive structure in their fourth release Land Animal that hit record store shelves on June 23. The album guarantees a fantastic listening experience that’s abundant with variety.

Land Animal is Bent Knee’s major label debut with German Sony Music Entertainment affiliate Inside Out Music. The band makes that grand introduction to a wider audience with a clear and poignant quality courtesy of producer Vince Welch. Courtney Swain brings a lot of soul with her magnificent voice while her skills on keyboards are present within each track. Ben Levin is stupendously dynamic on guitar and he serves as the base for the unique chords and progressions. Jessica Kion on bass and Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth on drums keep the pristine rhythms in check and Chris Baum on violin adds dramatic flair.

As a New Englander and as a person who’s been covering music in the region for nearly a decade, there’s a sense of pride I feel whenever a band from the area gets a dose of success. I couldn’t be happier that a talented act like Bent Knee got a bit of a being signed to Sony. It’s a pretty big deal for a band that was playing the dive bar circuit in both the Boston and Providence areas over the past few years. Anyways, enough with my own personal gush fest. Here are my top tracks off of the Album of the Week:

By incorporating faint distortion with electronic sounds, “Holy Ghost” is an emphatic track that finds a groove. Baum’s violin adds a special touch while Swain wails on vocals. “Time Deer” is raw and rigid: there’s a noticeable prog-rock presence that gravitates towards the senses. Another example of Bent Knee’s prog-rock sensibilities is “The Well,” where there’s an abstract structure that compliments the elegant tones.

Bent Knee will be embarking on a tour of the United States in July starting at The Iron Horse in Northampton, MA, on July 14. If they’re rolling through your friendly neighborhood music venue, go see them live. While you’re at the show you should also grab a copy of Land Animal. It’s an amazing record that’ll calm the nerves and excite the senses.

Bent Knee’s Land Animal, stream via YouTube:

Bent Knee’s web site:

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