Isobel Knight is a pop-and-soul-obsessed folk singer, born and raised in the Blue Mountains in Australia, now based in sunny Sydney. She’s grown from playing street corners and cafes in her hometown to playing stages, festival spots and SoFar Sounds sessions across the world. She spent 2019 in the USA, touring in the summer and creating her upcoming album ‘Here Now’.
The album came to be after a chance meeting at an open mic, a session for another band and a chat while watching a kid’s baseball game in central park. It was mixed and produced by Bob Mallory, a Brooklyn-based producer who has been the ears behind the stunning Paste Magazine sessions, and who I’ve been a huge fan of for years, and mastered by the Grammy-nominated Alex de Turk.
I was studying in Boston at the time so I would catch late buses after classes and record into the night in NYC. With musical work from drummer Dave Scalia and Boston guitarist and songstress Rachel Moon, ‘Here Now’ is about love from far away, loss, change and starting again where you are, with what you have. All these themes only hit closer to the bone with the events of the intervening year.
‘Conversationalist’, the first single off this album, is a journey, and there’s little homages throughout, to artists I love who write songs like that; Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks. The inspo playlist when we were recording it had “All Too Well” (Taylor Swift’s trademark emotional banger), “Thunder Road” by the Boss and “Fear and Trembling” by Gang of Youths side by side.
It’s a love song! It’s also a pain song. It’s about sitting across from someone and having no idea where they are. It’s about reaching out across what can feel like a huge divide, whether that’s because of something big and sad, or just miscommunication. It’s about learning to know yourself, figuring out what you should and shouldn’t change. It’s about saying it over and over, reaching out again and again, and asking “where do you go? How can I find you?”