There are certain albums that just win you over, no questions asked, no second thoughts. Within fifteen seconds of Taylor Knox‘s sophomore record Here Tonight kicking off, I knew I was in for a good time.
Those all important fifteen seconds are part of a breezy, surfer pop track called ‘City At Night‘. The riffs are incredibly easy to listen to, flowing over you without any need to maintain attention. You can simply drift in and out of focus as the song picks you up and takes you for a ride.
Opening with ‘City At Night‘ is important thematically to this album. A self declared creature of the night, Taylor Knox visits the emotions, opportunities and transformations that are offered up when the sun sets and the moon comes out to play.
‘Blue Moon‘ makes that idea very clear to the listener. On a track which has a lot in common with the funky synth sound of Phoenix, Knox reflects on a unique love seemingly amplified by the moon.
On ‘Little Creature‘, the synths throb and pulsate with an injection of modern pop energy, before relaxing into a 2008 era The Killers chorus. The track feels short but sweet, and is probably one of the album highlights.
Taylor Knox continues to reference a diverse range of influences on the next few tracks. ‘Live It Up‘ is a mash up of Cage The Elephant energy and Manic Street Preachers indie rock. ‘One In A Billion‘ actually swings more towards the sludgy tones of My Bloody Valentine, while ‘Many Here Among Us‘ finds an odd but pleasing middle ground between Bryan Adams and Fun. It’s incredibly impressive that he has managed to bring together so many sounds while maintaining a sense of cohesiveness and individuality.
Knox perhaps sounds at his most comfortable on songs like ‘The Trees‘, where there is a bit of pace to the tempo and instrumental energy to lend some drive.
That being said, on album closer ‘Happening‘, the tempo is actually lower but the energy higher than ever. It’s a wonderful blend of Radiohead and Oasis: an injection of the 90s with a modern twist. The guitars are unashamedly thick and explosive, which is a wonderful palette cleanser for the record to finish on.
Like I said, this record had me in the palm of it’s hand from the first fifteen second. It does perhaps lose a little momentum around the halfway mark of the tracklisting, but picks up with a wonderful climax which properly delivers on the promise of those opening bars.
Sounds Like: The modern 90s revival we’ve been waiting for