Neu Pick: Knightstown delivers ethereal sensitivity on ‘First Cry’

Knightstown delivers ethereal sensitivity on ‘First Cry’

Michael Aston’s channelling of classical training into downbeat electronica is today’s Neu Pick.

Every weekday, DIY’s new music know-it-all Neu brings you one essential new release to get obsessed with. Today’s Neu Pick comes from Knightstown.

“His music I have come to love perhaps most of all, even more than my favourite pop/electronic headbangers”, sys Knightstown aka Michael Aston about one of his favourite artists. Listening to his intricate and downbeat electronica, it might not be immediately obvious that Bach has impacted his work, but some of the marks are there. Aston might not be making anything as upbeat and frenetic as the ‘Brandenburg Concerto’, but listen to some of Johann Sebastian’s more contemplative works and there’s a line to be drawn.

That’s especially true when considering that Aston’s new single, ‘First Cry’, the first taste of his upcoming self-titled album on FatCat, was originally intended to be a piece solely for voice and keyboards. Even though it had no vocals, it’s easy to think how its melodic nature could have had similarities to something akin to Bach’s piano-driven ‘Concerto en ré mineur’. Instead, Aston has taken the piece in a very different direction, moving away from his classical background with the help of his cousin, producer Thomas Aston, to create a reverberating slice of electronica.

An element of its original, stripped-back format remains as Michael’s ethereal voice rings out from the start of the track, but ‘First Cry’ soon introduces glacial, arpeggiated melodies and digitised percussion that turns it into a quiet, contemplative slice of synth-pop. Sensitive and intricate, it’s a bittersweet voyage into the world of Knightstown, ensuring that ‘First Cry’ will certainly not be the last we’ll hear from Michael Aston.

Listen to ‘First Cry’ below.

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