Knox are Nic and Eliza, a brother/sister duo hailing from the USA. The sense of nostalgia you get from listening to their new EP, ‘Here’, isn’t surprising; they’ve previously recorded in the basement of their childhood home, “surrounded by the toys, gadgets and instruments that [they] were raised with”. This process transfers to their music; it’s familiar and unfamiliar, like looking at old family photographs.
‘Here’ is reminiscent of The xx, Massive Attack and Beacon, with soft vocals accompanying dubs, clean guitars, strings and bleeps. This quiet fusion of sound has already been called “post-dubstep”, but it’s not brash and in-your-face. Instead it loiters, stays close to you, percolates with each beat and each string. “Here is nothing / there is nowhere” is one lyric that sticks, especially considering how minimalist the overall song is. Eliza’s vocals peek out from behind the scattered instruments, quietly surveying the surroundings, slowly becoming distorted and ingrained.
‘Mornings’ plays out just like those hazy moments upon waking; rubbing sleep out of your eyes, trying to remember dreams, watching the sun filter into your room, smiling and realising you can go back to sleep because it’s the weekend. It’s like a sleepier version of Memoryhouse (if that’s possible). The few seconds of silence near the end of the track really make it; I found myself leaning forward and tensing each time, upping the volume to see if anything was there.
‘Fault’ offers a slight change in Knox’s sound; the guitar and key changes give the song a menacing quality, reminiscent of 2:54, or TEEN if they were more acoustic. Here, Eliza’s vocals are less distinguished, meshing with the sparse drum beats and electronic nuances. Even though it’s hard to make out what she’s saying, the intonation makes you feel that the fault is yours, not hers. The violins at the end of the track elevate it just above ‘Here’, and the two act as neat bookends for the original tracks on the EP.
The two remixes of “Here” offer an insight into where Knox’s sound can go when placed in the hands of others. While they’re more energetic and upbeat, I found myself just replaying the original (and more emotive) tracks instead. With the EP offering a teaser of Knox, I’m eager to hear what they deliver next.
Listen to ‘Here’: