Will Knox, Ari Herstand, Instant Tradition
Meet Will Knox, an alt-folk troubadour whose lilting British accent comes from being born and bred in Hammersmith, London, but whose smart, labyrinthine lyrics were shaped by his subsequent, more far-flung journeys. At 18, Knox moved to Boston to pursue his music career, landing support slots for Art Garfunkel, Pete Francis (of Dispatch), and Tyrone Wells. While there he created his first EP, 2007’s Buckled Knees; its award-winning track “Never Letting Go” was featured in MTV’s College Life. Now a New Yorker, Knox derives inspiration from the city that never sleeps for his debut album The Matador and the Acrobat, voted one of Shred News’ “Top Ten Albums of 2009.” The city has had a major effect on his writing style: Armed only with a pen and notebook, he’d ride the subway for hours, observing this new, rich, frenetic underground world—or as one Matador track describes it, the “Belly of the Beast.” The resulting visionary melodies, hooks, and intricate arrangements create a stunning world where the songs may hold shadow and darkness, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.