Ever since Pete Townshend coined the term “power pop” in 1967, fans, critics and musicians alike have clung to its principles of crunchy guitars, smooth harmonies and tales of tragic young love, in the never-ending battle to keep rock and roll’s flame burning brightly.
Taylor Knox is poised to make a significant contribution to the cause when his debut solo EP, ‘Lines,’ is released March 31 on MapleMusic Recordings. With six tracks, each consistently clocking in at around three minutes, ‘Lines’ is the perfect taste to get the unsuspecting listener permanently hooked on Knox’s irresistible sugar high. From opening track “My Backyard” to meditative closer “Good Enough,” the Toronto native displays songwriting prowess far beyond his years, conjuring the magic of Big Star and Revolver-era Beatles.
While everything about ‘Lines’ sounds effortless, Knox’s diverse skill-set is in part a result of the time-honoured music biz tradition of paying one’s dues. Although still in his 20s, he has a wealth of experience playing with a host of Canada's most acclaimed artists, including Owen Pallett, Rich Aucoin, Luke Doucet, Hayden, and Jason Collett.
Taylor Knox is now ready to step out on his own for good as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer.
His rock and roll journey began about a decade ago when he received an offer to play drums for The Golden Dogs—one of Canada’s most criminally-unappreciated bands, who also happened to be one of Knox’s favourites.
During his stint with The Golden Dogs, Knox forged friendships with several other band members who would go on to form Zeus, a bond that led Knox to be a frequent presence at Zeus’s Toronto studio, Ill Eagle, which offered him the perfect environment to begin experimenting with his own material. From there, Knox and the still-gestating Zeus were tapped by Jason Collett to be his regular band, a move that brought Knox into contact with an even wider circle of musicians.
He joined up with Luke Doucet, playing drums on the tour in support of his acclaimed ‘Steel City Trawler’ album, and at about the same time lent his drumming talents to Hayden for the 2013 album ‘Us Alone’ and subsequent tour. Most recently, Knox has been playing with pop wunderkind Rich Aucoin, which has further expanded Knox’s musical vision.
Still, those hearing Knox for the first time may hear immediate echoes of Sloan. It seems only natural given his friendship with Andrew Scott, drummer for the Halifax legends, whom Knox met when The Golden Dogs played several shows in support of Sloan. Scott has since served as Knox’s drummer on occasion. While the spirit of the ‘90s Halifax pop explosion is noticeable in Knox’s work, he has channeled it into an instantly memorable sound thoroughly his own by finally strapping on a guitar and bringing his lanky frame out from behind the drum kit.
Power pop may be harder than ever to define, but great songs remain its foundation. Taylor Knox has a lot of them to offer, and ‘Lines’ is just the beginning.