B.Knox shines a light in the darkness with his smouldering single Second Spark — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
A highlight of his tellingly titled new album Heartbreak & Landscape, the haunted, slow-burning tale fits right in with the rootsy, imagistic nature of the alt-country singer-songwriter and storyteller’s masterful release — a work that confirms his status as one of the country’s most powerful and promising new talents.
“As the old saying goes, ‘You only get one chance to make a good first impression’,” Knox explains. “Sometimes love is like that too. It’s less about a beginning though, and more of a warning — a chance to avoid disaster and take care of the things you treasure. Nothing seems colder or more tragic than an empty space where love once burned hot and bright. I wanted to layer images of desolation and eerie silence as the context building up to the last verse of Second Spark. It needed to all hang on those last few lines. It’s about the inevitability of bad decisions, sure. It is also a cautionary tale though: A chance for redemption or salvation.”
Knox’s own tale is no less compelling. Hailing from Newfound but now based in Ontario, he didn’t just have a hidden talent; he was a hidden talent until now. Formerly a schoolteacher writing songs only for himself, in 2019 he finally considered a career switch to music. After releasing several singles and garnering international attention, his much-anticipated full length album was also released today. The title Heartbreak & Landscape — taken from the chorus in the song Best Laid Plans — is a fitting description for this collection of songs, as the songwriting tends to fall somewhere into one of the two titular categories.
Knox’s songs are often unique mixes of fact and fiction, blending images and themes from various times in his life. “Everybody has high school loves, university loves, true heartbreaks early on. Those are transformative,” he explains. “As you get older, you tend to get more jaded and closed off and you don’t hurt the same way. I also am of the opinion that heartbreak isn’t specific to falling in love; grief is a kind of heartbreak, losing a home or moving is a kind of heartbreak. I frame my songs around those romantic ideals.”
Second Spark and The Fault Lies were his first songs to gain the attention of friends and colleagues. “That’s when it all started. The reaction was noticeable,” he says. Pushed to record a demo, he sent his songs to pedal steel player Aaron Goldstein, whose work he knew from Bry Webb of The Constantines. Goldstein, who owns Baldwin Street Sound, immediately responded and the two worked in batches from November 2017 to December 2018, as Knox continued to write and craft his songs. “At first, I did four songs and then it was a crazy drug because the moment I got in there and heard how my songs came to life, there was no turning back.”