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Thread: Bent Knee - best band from the US in a long while?

  1. #1

    Bent Knee - best band from the US in a long while?

    Did a search but couldn't find any mention here. Am amazed that they haven't been discussed here because this might just be the best thing art rock / prog wise to have come from the US in a long while. They are a fiercely independent band it seems and in that way they remind me of Snarky Puppy a few years back, just gigging and gigging and building up an audience through it.

    Bent Knee is:
    Courtney Swain - vocals & keyboards
    Ben Levin - guitar
    Chris Baum - violin
    Jessica Kion - bass & vocals
    Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth - drums
    Vince Welch - synth & sound design

    https://youtu.be/q0kl-gQucpI

    Latest album (and more) can be heard and bought here:

    https://bentknee.bandcamp.com/album/shiny-eyed-babies

  2. #2
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I saw raving reviews about this band on the German Babyblaue Seiten. I've checked them on Spotify and was impressed.

    Great stuff. A great mix between arty experimentation and accessibility. great mix of styles too; Heavy, industrial, jazzy, pop. On my *to-buy* list.

    Best band from US for a while? Hmm....maybe since Jack O'clock.

  3. #3
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    Posted it for you!

    Wow, this is damned impressive stuff! Talk about dynamics!


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    What an incredibly lame band name though.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    What an incredibly lame band name though.
    I'm not so sure.

    Went to a gig recently & there was a poster for a band called the Lovely Eggs which we all thought was the stupidest name we'd ever heard. Yet from a wall full of posters, theirs was the only band name we could recall afterwards.

    So maybe lame is the new genius!

  6. #6
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Any band name's better than Fudge Tunnel.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    What an incredibly lame band name though.
    Unlike 'Porcupine Tree', right?
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  8. #8
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXymphonia View Post
    (1) Did a search but couldn't find any mention here. (1) Am amazed that they haven't been discussed here .... (2) They are a fiercely independent band it seems ...
    1. They were really good.

    2. Amazing that no one here will ever think to draw the line that (2) just might have something to do with (1).

    YMMV.

    P.S. Snarky Puppy are not an independent band. They are on a major label.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  9. #9
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    I saw Bent Knee last year in Boston supporting Mike Keneally, to be honest I enjoyed them a lot more than MK. Grabbed a cd at the gig, excellent stuff. Looks like they are next playing Boston while I'm in France for RIO.
    Ian

    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    P.S. Snarky Puppy are not an independent band. They are on a major label.
    AFAIK up to the most recent album Sylva they were releasing on their own imprint groundUP which is part of Ropeadope and although I might be wrong isn't a major label.

  11. #11
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Already got one, District 97. But ya, they are good.
    The older I get, the better I was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Unlike 'Porcupine Tree', right?
    "Porcupine Tree" is not the greatest name, but it at least has the virtue of being ludicrous and slightly amusing.

  13. #13
    Thanks for the post! They are terrific. Wouldn't have known them if not for this post Long live PE!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    "Porcupine Tree" is not the greatest name, but it at least has the virtue of being ludicrous and slightly amusing.
    'Bent Knee' - BENT KNEE??! HAW-HAW-HAW...

    See? It's all about perspective and dedication.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  15. #15
    Member mellotron storm's Avatar
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    Well that song that was posted blew me away, if the rest of the album is half as good...but man can she sing.
    "The wind is slowly tearing her apart"
    Sad Rain
    Anekdoten

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    'Bent Knee' - BENT KNEE??! HAW-HAW-HAW...

    See? It's all about perspective and dedication.
    Why are you on my case? If you disagree about "Bent Knee" being a lame band name, you could have just said so instead of making a drama out of it.

  17. #17
    ^

    Man, if that's your opinion on drama... Why can't you post an opinion on the music of the band in question - whether it be Swans or someone calling themselves Bent Knee - instead of pointing at an altogether relatively irrelevant matter to the cause? Did it ever strike you that there just might be an anecdote, an idea or some thought behind the chosen band name? Which might be even funnier than what you personally feel about 'Porcupine Tree'? Or that, perhaps, just maybe - the 'band name' itself may be considered secondary to some?
    Last edited by Scrotum Scissor; 07-10-2015 at 03:58 AM.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  18. #18
    I'm mixed on their first album, but Shiny Eyed Babies is excellent. One of my favorite albums of last year. Courtney's also really nice, corresponded with her a little. Hoping to see them when they come to my area next week.

    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    I saw Bent Knee last year in Boston supporting Mike Keneally, to be honest I enjoyed them a lot more than MK. Grabbed a cd at the gig, excellent stuff. Looks like they are next playing Boston while I'm in France for RIO.
    Now that's a gig!

  19. #19
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mellotron storm View Post
    Well that song that was posted blew me away, if the rest of the album is half as good...but man can she sing.
    No shit! That was really good, especially for live!

  20. #20
    Traversing The Dream 100423's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if they are the best in a long while but I really liked what I heard.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Amazing that no one here will ever think to draw the line that (2: them being a fiercely independent band) just might have something to do with (1: there being no mention here).
    Maybe, and maybe not. I saw them a few days ago, bought both their albums, and there's a subtle but definite stylistic difference between the two. The first, self-titled, album, from 2011, has some songs and passages I'd describe as sounding like a very good singer-songwriter with a slightly busy backing band. Or, perhaps, like the kind of jazzy, polished music that gets thrown into the "jam band" classification more because it doesn't fit anywhere else than because it actually belongs there.

    But on Shiny-Eyed Babies, from late 2014, the best way I can put it is that they sound more like themselves: The songs and playing seem mostly about making their music as interesting and powerful as possible, and there's little of the kind of pointed understatement that often gets mistaken for "taste" or "professionalism". The record fits even less into any standard genre. Although, there are maybe a few more "proggy" bits, such as the rhythmic hiccups in the middle of "Being Human", and they've developed a penchant for jump-cutting from quiet restraint to a completely over-the-top, almost Sleepytime-ish jazz-metal blast, with Courtney shifting from Norah Jones whisper to shrieking Dagmar madwoman within a fraction of a beat.

    And yes, the first record is definitely "progressive but not 'Prog'". But the second is more so, and quite a bit more easily recognized as such. That, I think, might be one reason why we're only now noticing a band who've been around in some form since 2009, and whose first album came out about four years ago.

  22. #22
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    ^ ^

    You misunderstood my post.

    My post was that everyone likes to bitch about the industry, but the industry can also help bring bands to people's attention.

    BTW, Wayside Music will be stocking their releases by the end of the week.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    ^ ^

    You misunderstood my post.

    My post was that everyone likes to bitch about the industry, but the industry can also help bring bands to people's attention.

    BTW, Wayside Music will be stocking their releases by the end of the week.
    Ooh, good news! I got the 2nd direct from the band, but I may very well pick up the 1st in my next Wayside order. Glad people seem to be starting to pay attention to these guys.

  24. #24
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Just bought the 2nd from Bandcamp, already got the debut.
    Ian

    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  25. #25
    Member sergio's Avatar
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    woman should not play bass guitar that said I'm keen to check out the whole thing. Not big fan of female vocals, but she is impressive, yeah.

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