A gentle piano opens the doors to ‘If Not Now, When’ on ‘RIP Chord’ and it isn’t long before Knights’ distinctive vocals find their place within the number. It is a casual introductory to the record with a contrasting chorus that at first doesn’t seem like it is going to fit amongst the tracks verses but does so with splendor and ease. The number is also given a brief continuation in the opening half of the record with an instrumental reprise.
Olly takes a folk-infused approach to the following title track which instantly showcases the musicians intelligent and poetic storytelling skills with absorbing witticisms like “how can you smile when you’re so busy dying” flowing over a patchwork of quick paced guitar work.
‘The Introvert’ is a sweet guitar picked inclusion with some complimenting closing vocal “oohs” while ‘Girls’ brings the musicians songwriting talents to the forefront once again in a defiant and melancholic tale full of rich vibrato filled vocals.
Further into the record ‘I Hope I Know You Well’ provides ‘If Not Know, When’ with a syrupy and sentimental filling and the musical peak to the record. Instrumentally lively, the guitar work provides the tracks sturdy backbone while a cool synth sits modestly in the distance with Knights giving a fatherly nod to his daughters, Ruby and Daisy, within the lyrics of the track.
Where solo ventures tend to bring out a different sound to most artists it is nice to hear that Knights has retained many of the components that made Turin Brakes so successful. Knights’ material has always seemed quite grown up within Turin Brakes yet this solo effort has an even more matured quality to it than his bands offerings, perhaps due to the record being a more personal representation of the solo star.
‘If Not Now, When’ is a laid back and mostly acoustic affair for Knights with the occasional nod at up-tempo though he appears to shy away from revving the momentum up on the album which is a shame but regardless, what we have been offered from Olly Knights is a record he can be truly proud of as part of this musicians solo journey.