In a gritty industrial area of Van Nuys, California, behind a powder-coating plant, lie a dozen neatly stacked repurposed shipping containers. One of these is ‘home’ to The Knitts, a band with a surprisingly long history and a short fuse, ready to explode onto the music scene with the release of their upcoming debut full-length album Retreat, which is out March 3rd via Knitting Factory Records.
It should come as little surprise seeing their record label, as the origins of The Knitts go back to the final years of the Knitting Factory on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. “That’s strangely how the band name came about, from Charlie’s time working the box office,” recalls Justin Volkens of his brother, Charlie Volkens’ time at the club while various future Knitts hung out at KF shows. Now The Knitts are made up of the brothers Volkens – Justin (Vocals) & Charlie (guitar), along with Victor Portillo (lead guitar), Jaime “Jimmy” Luque (bass) and Clare Taylor Wilkes (drums).
Retreat is a tightly crafted collection of tunes, bringing to mind the second-wave of Brit pop with the danceable energy of Wolf Parade and the gritty garage folk of Deer Tick. Many of their songs don’t stretch beyond three minutes but manage to make a strong impression with their pop-laden hooks and catchy choruses. Today Glide Magazine is offering an exclusive listen of the shortest song on the album, “Sorry Sonny”. Coming in at just under two minutes, the acoustically strummed tune is a simple little ditty with minimal, non-sensical lyrics that one can only assume reference a friend of the band. It’s a nugget of simple folk-rock that lingers in your head.
Frontman Justin Volkens sheds some light on the magic of the track:
“The recording of ‘Sorry Sonny’ made use of a plastic bag as the snare drum to add a different element to the recording. It was written to not have any percussions, but the sound of the plastic bag helped it maintain its intended acoustic/unplugged sound as well as add a layer a rhythm.”