‘Music that doesn’t satisfy the A.I.’ at Stave Sessions (The Boston Globe)

‘Music that doesn’t satisfy the A.I.’ at Stave Sessions (The Boston Globe)

The US premiere of "Paper Earth", our new composition for Bent Knee + percussion ensemble, premieres in Boston this Saturday at Celebrity Series' Stave Sessions. Here's a preview of the work in Sunday's Boston Globe, in which our illustrious drummer describes our sound as "Loud. Soft. Medium" and "The world's worst Garth Brooks cover band." 

The Globe put it a bit more eloquently, calling us "viciously talented... teemed with color and creativity."

Read the whole article at https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2018/03/15/music-that-doesn-satisfy-stave-sessions/9f0MFf5gOoGpMk21MpaUOI/story.html

Tickets to the premiere are available at http://www.celebrityseries.org/stavesessions/bentknee/index.html

01 Rich Ferri 01.jpg

The Paper Earth Tour - Summer 2018

The Paper Earth Tour - Summer 2018

We're tremendously excited to announce The Paper Earth Tour, with special guests Gatherers, circling the US this summer.

5.31 Nashua NH @ Riverwalk*
6.02 Northampton MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
6.03 Providence RI @ Fete Music Hall
6.04 New Haven CT @ Cafe Nine
6.06 Asbury Park NJ @ The Saint
6.07 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
6.08 Philadelphia PA @ Boot & Saddle
6.09 Baltimore MD @ Metro Gallery
6.14 Atlanta GA @ The Masquerade
6.15 New Orleans LA @ Gasa Gasa
6.17 Austin TX @ The Sidewinder
6.20 Phoenix AZ @ Valley Bar
6.21 San Diego CA @ Soda Bar
6.22 Los Angeles CA @ Bootleg Theater
6.23 San Francisco CA @ Cafe Du Nord
6.24 San Jose CA @ Art Boutiki
6.28 Eugene OR @ HiFi Music Hall
6.29 Portland OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
6.30 Seattle WA @ Barboza
7.03 Boise ID @ Neurolux
7.05 Salt Lake City UT @ Kilby Court
7.06 Denver CO @ Lost Lake
7.07 Lawrence KS @ The Bottleneck
7.10 Minneapolis MN @ 7th St Entry
7.11 Chicago IL @ Schubas
7.12 Madison WI @ The Frequency
7.14 Detroit MI @ The Loving Touch
7.17 Cleveland OH @ The Beachland Tavern
*no Gatherers

More dates to come. Most tickets go on sale later this week. Details at bentkneemusic.com/tour. Artwork by Scott Siskind

Bent Knee Paper Earth Tour Poster.jpg

To celebrate the tour announcement, we're premiering a new video for Hole live at The Record Cohttps://youtu.be/VRvkjJhMogo

"Paper Earth" Premieres in Zürich, Boston, NYC

"Paper Earth" Premieres in Zürich, Boston, NYC

We've been writing a new song cycle for Bent Knee and percussion ensemble for the better part of a year now and are thrilled to be premiering the work in Zürich, Boston, and New York City. Paper Earth is about how memory continuously alters our present. It was commissioned by Judd Greenstein, with tremendous arrangement help from Sam Solomon and the Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble. Show details below:


March 9th, 2018 | Zürich, Switzerland

Apples and Olives Festival w/ ZHdK Percussion Ensemble


March 24th, 2018 | Boston, MA

Celebrity Series' Stave Sessions w/ Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble


March 29th, 2018 | New York, NY

Ecstatic Music Festival w/ Manta Percussion


I. Paper Earth

Paper Earth
I'll fall for your curse
I'll feed off your lovely
Your fine tooth get greedy 'til I need it

One foot in a ghost town
One foot in paradise
One eye on my companion
eye raising mice

We dance while the sun and moon take turns to light my face
My skin is like the funny papers
Also good to taste so taste and take me

Paper Earth
I'll fall for your curse
A charm we glom on to
A dream an unending stream
And I need it

II. Slideshow

The oldest sound I’ve ever known
Is the beating of my mother’s pulse
It’s so loud
We walk in lines we walk in rows
The beating stops the baby goes
So long

Forward to the stretch of road the
Your car pulled over mother’s ghost
It’s true love

I’ve been growing up through a slideshow I forgot
Stealthy Photoshop fits the story in a box
The further I move on, the more I want to stop
Just to notice what I’ve got

The only vow I ever broke
Was summer in the campfire smoke
No clothes

My deepest fear runs out my ears
Drops down my neck
is sneering in the
Fresh snow

Watch their faces suffer
As my kids emmet their mother and we
Hold hope
Don’t go

III. Wasn’t Even There

I know I know I know I know your weight
And your taste
I know I know I know I know your hair
On my face

I know your speak through clenched teeth
I know you want me
Though I'm asleep

Beneath beneath beneath beneath the trees
You take me
Unwrap unwrap unwrap unwrap the seems
And forsake me

So bright
So clean
How did pine needles get inside of me

My thought
In a white gown
What happened
What went down

I know I know I know I know you're shocked
To be chased
Because because
because because
Whatever you want
Whatever you want youtake

IV. Interlude

V. Tone My Crazy

We are a dream hot for other dreams
Folding our cells to recall a scene
seen by all from the outside in
Scenes from inside don’t break past the skin
You told me in time I won’t feel the sting
I heard you just fine didn’t learn a thing
If you felt what I felt you feeling for
You’d lock me up
baby and never look back so

You tell me I should tone my crazy oh
You tell me I go too far maybe though
It’s easier to see me broken no
No way we lack the words or forgot the ways to show

What’s fast but still slow
What’s dark and still glows
What’s burning and cold

You saw a river and I saw a stream
Rainbow of red in the forest leaves
Too many neurons to stay in sync
We are both places that we'll never be
You told me it's fine if we hand in hand
My palms slip on small talk and secret gaffes
If I felt what you felt me feeling for
We'd fairy tale merry go never look back no

VI. Acceleration

Paper Earth
I'll fall for your curse
I'll feed off your lovely
Your fine tooth get greedy 'til I need it

The further I move on
The more I want to stop
Just to notice what I’ve got

March European Tour Dates

March European Tour Dates

We're heading back to Europe this March! The Zürich date at the Apples and Olives Festival is the world premiere of Paper Earth, our new work for Bent Knee and percussion ensemble. Details at bentkneemusic.com/tour.

March 2nd Zoetermeer, Netherlands @ Boerderij Cultuurpodium
March 4th Wurzburg, Germany @ Immerhin
March 6th Reichenbach, Germany @ Bergkeller
March 7th Rüsselsheim, Germany @ Das Rind
March 9th Zürich, Switzerland @ Moods
March 10th Milan, Italy @ La Casa di Alex

01 Rich Ferri 03.jpg

"Time Deer" Video Premiere

"Time Deer" Video Premiere

We're elated to unveil our new video for Time Deer, the third single from Land Animal, via Highlight Magazine. The film was directed and animated by the Japanese artist Riki Nitabaru, who said this about the project:

"The story centers around a deer that travels through time, trying to find the cause of humanity's problems in the modern world. In my take, just as the deer finds the cause of all strife, the world starts to cleanse itself. The deer becomes a receptacle of all living things, and it morphs to become a brand new being that encompasses all life forms."

Upcoming Tour Dates
Jul 14 Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
Jul 15 Nashua, NH @ Riverwalk
Jul 17 Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
Jul 18 Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch
Jul 19 Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio
Jul 20 Madison, WI @ The Frequency
Jul 23 Dekalb, IL @ The House Cafe
Jul 24 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry
Jul 25 Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
Jul 27 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Jul 31 Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Aug 01 Portland, OR @ Analog Cafe
Aug 02 Bend, OR @ Volcanic Theatre
Aug 04 San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord
Aug 05 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
Aug 07 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Aug 10 Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room
Aug 13 Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
Aug 15 Dayton, OH @ Jimmie's Ladder 11

July/August Tour Dates + Live Vid Premieres

July/August Tour Dates + Live Vid Premieres

Chris recently sat down with iZotope to discuss the differences between writing for the studio and writing for the stage. One of our favorite audio software companies sponsored a concert filming at The Record Co. earlier this year, and they're premiering two new live videos from that session alongside the article.



 Our US tour starts up again this Friday. Dates and details at bentkneemusic.com/tour

7.14 Northampton MA | 7.15 Nashua NH | 7.17 Buffalo NY | 7.18 Ferndale MI | 7.19 Indianapolis IN | 7.20 Madison WI | 7.23 Dekalb IL | 7.24 Minneapolis MN | 7.25 Lawrence KS | 7.27 Denver CO | 7.31 Seattle WA | 8.1 Portland OR | 8.2 Bend OR | 8.4 San Francisco CA | 8.5 Los Angeles CA | 8.7 San Diego CA | 8.10 Austin TX | 8.13 Nashville TN | 8.15 Dayton OH

"Land Animal" Out Now

"Land Animal" Out Now

"Land Animal" has arrived! Our fourth studio album is out now on InsideOut Music/Sony. We're incredibly proud of this record and can't wait for you to hear it. Stream/purchase at http://smarturl.it/bentkneelandanimal

To celebrate the release, here's a live take of "Terror Bird", the opening track on the record. https://youtu.be/XIcTchfB8To

Early praise:

"As easily as the music makes you marvel, it provides delirious release." -NPR

"Uncompromising, imaginative, and bold... one of the most incredible and vibrantly unique records this year. 10/10" -Ethos Live

"Throwing off the shackles of genre... truly the definition of experimentalism." -Consequence of Sound

"An exercise in controlled chaos, in an all-encompassing vibe that manages to squeeze all parts of Bent Knee into optimal expression." -Heavy Blog Is Heavy

"An exhilarating gust of fresh air." -The Prog Report

"A perfect balance has been struck between innovation, accessibility, cognitively stirring discourse, emotional engagement and sheer, unmitigated entertainment." -Metal Discovery

"A complex, thought-provoking art installation appreciable on multiple levels.” -Rock at Night

"It’s very rare that an artist or band comes along that changes your perspective on music and art. Bent Knee have done just that." -Substream Magazine


"Land Animal" Full Album Stream (Consequence of Sound)

"Land Animal" Full Album Stream (Consequence of Sound)

Early praise:

"It’s very rare that an artist or band comes along that changes your perspective on music and art. Bent Knee have done just that." -Substream Magazine

"A perfect balance between innovation, accessibility, cognitively stirring discourse, emotional engagement and sheer, unmitigated entertainment." -Metal Discovery

"An exhilarating gust of fresh air." -Prog Report

"An all-encompassing vibe that manages to squeeze all parts of Bent Knee into optimal expression." -Heavy Blog Is Heavy

"As easily as the music makes you marvel, it provides delirious release." -WBUR

"A complex, thought-provoking art installation appreciable on multiple levels.” -Rock at Night

"Terror Bird" Video Premiere

"Terror Bird" Video Premiere

We're very excited to debut the second single/video from Land Animal, out June 23rd from InsideOut Music/Sony. "Terror Bird" is about fighting our natural inclination to become indifferent toward the world around us. We all have an idea in our heads of how a good person thinks and feels. Good people feel sad when hearing about tragedies, angry when reading about injustices, and happy for other’s successes, but sometimes, our brains fail to meet our own standards and slump into an apathetic mush instead. In a globalized, hyper-connected society, it’s a problem we wrestle with now more than ever. Stream the video at https://youtu.be/44juYfgipU4.

"Terror Bird" was directed by Greg Bowen and stars Caitlin Weaver. The song is now available for streaming on all major platforms. Preorder Land Animal at bentkneemusic.com/store.

June Tour Dates:

6/1 Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC https://goo.gl/S5cPKa

6/3 New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine https://goo.gl/d1PZrE

6/5 Boston, MA @ Great Scott https://goo.gl/Ctj2N0

6/6 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie https://goo.gl/1nBRbc

6/7 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Funhouse https://goo.gl/VrdcNo

6/8 Washington, DC @ Black Cat DC https://goo.gl/kqmd2G

6/9 Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall https://goo.gl/XBRpvu

6/11 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom https://goo.gl/4KMRHc

6/12 Chicago, IL @ Schubas https://goo.gl/vBXoq2

Details at bentkneemusic.com/tour

"Holy Ghost" Live Video Premiere (Substream)

"Holy Ghost" Live Video Premiere (Substream)

"It’s very rare that an artist or band comes along that changes your perspective on music and art. On 'Holy Ghost,' Bent Knee have done just that."

Many thanks to Substream Magazine for premiering our first live video from "Land Animal"! The album drops June 23rd on InsideOut Music/Sony. Preorder at bentkneemusic.com/tour. Read the full article at http://substreammagazine.com/2017/05/premiere-bent-knee/

June Tour Dates:
6/1 Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
6/3 New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine
6/5 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
6/6 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
6/7 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr Smalls Funhouse
6/8 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
6/9 Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall
6/11 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
6/12 Chicago, IL @ Schubas
Details and tickets at bentkneemusic.com/tour

New Album "Land Animal" Out 6.23.17

New Album "Land Animal" Out 6.23.17

We're thrilled to announce that our fourth studio recording, "Land Animal", will be released on InsideOutMusic/Sony on June 23rd, 2017. The album is now available for pre-order and the title track is available for streaming on all major platforms. The music video for "Land Animal", directed by Greg Bowen and starring Jake Brasch, can be viewed here.

Full press release below:

“The silo-smashing Bent Knee’s unique mix is equal parts ingenuity and deliciousness”The Wall Street Journal

“Bent Knee breaks new stylistic and temperamental ground”The Boston Globe

Bent Knee is unlike any band you’ve ever heard. Its borderless sound combines myriad influences from across the rock, pop, minimalist, and avant-garde spectrums into a seamless, thrilling whole. Its forthcoming album Land AnimalBent Knee’s first for InsideOutMusic/Sony, released on June 23, 2017 —takes its sound to a new level. It offers a suite of songs full of addictive hooks, lush melodies and enthralling twists and turns that capture the reality of life in the 21st Century—a reality of people and nations in the midst of tumultuous change. It also communicates a ray of hope and desire for listeners to embrace the fact that they’re not alone in their struggles. 

PRESS HERE to watch the beautiful, provocative video for “Land Animal.” Directed by Greg Bowan, the video explores the inner conflicts people have as they endure daily stresses and lose the big picture view on what really matters in life.

Bent Knee formed in 2009 as a democratic collective determined to push the boundaries of pop and rock. Lead singer and keyboardist Courtney Swain’s soaring vocals are instantly arresting. Guitarist Ben Levin is one of the most dynamic and versatile guitarists around, shifting between the raging and raucous to the sublime and meditative. Bassist Jessica Kion and drummer Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth combine into an enthralling rhythm section that’s equal parts powerhouse and nuance. Violinist Chris Baum’s kinetic violin work provides drama, grace and intrigue. World-class producer and live sound designer Vince Welch weaves it all together with a captivating, expert touch.

The band has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Its last two albums, 2016’s Say So and 2014’s Shiny Eyed Babies, were hailed as significant art-rock achievements. The group has performed hundreds of shows across the world to date. During the fall of 2016, the band played for ecstatic audiences as an opener for the U.S. leg of The Dillinger Escape Plan's farewell tour ahead of signing with InsideOutMusic/Sony.

“We’re very excited to be working with InsideOutMusic/Sony,” said Swain. “It’s wonderful to have our music reach a lot of new ears across the globe through them. It’s an honor to join their roster of prestigious artists and we look forward to a long relationship with the label.”

The band is now on tour in America. During April and May, it opens for the expansive rock act Thank You Scientist, known for its combination of progressive and jazz influences. Bent Knee then continues in June with a headlining tour. See full routing below, and PRESS HERE for more information.

PRESS HERE to pre-order Land Animal on iTunes today, with instant download of the title track. Further preordering information coming soon.

Tour Dates:

4/18       Detroit, MI @ The Shelter*

4/19       Lansing, MI @ Mac's Bar*

4/20       Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall*

4/21       Dekalb, IL @ The House*

4/22       Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose Taphouse*

4/23       Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck*

4/27       Boston, MA @ Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

5/6          Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room*

5/7          Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt*

5/9          Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar*

5/10       Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club*

5/11       Richmond, VA @ Canal Club *

5/12       Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall*

5/19       Victoriaville, Canada @ Festival International Musique Actuelle

6/1          Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC

6/3          New Haven, CT @ Café Nine

6/5          Boston, MA @ Great Scott

6/6          Philadelphia, PA @ Kung-Fu Necktie

6/7          Pittsburgh, PA @ The Fun House/Mr. Smalls

6/8          Washington, DC @ Black Cat

6/9          Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall

6/11       Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern

6/12       Chicago, IL @ Schubas

*with Thank You Scientist



Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Soundcloud

For More on Bent Knee, contact:


Stephanie Williams//Sarah Usher


+1 (212) 246-2640

April/May Tour Dates with Thank You Scientist

April/May Tour Dates with Thank You Scientist

We're excited to announce that we'll be hitting the road with Thank You Scientist for a string of US dates this spring. Tickets on sale now. Additional details at bentkneemusic.com/tour.

4/14 Monty Hall | Jersey City, NJ†
4/18 The Shelter |Detroit, MI†
4/19 Mac's Bar | Lansing, MI†
4/20 Shank Hall | Milwaukee, WI†
4/21 The House Cafe | Dekalb, IL†
4/22 Blue Moose Taphouse | Iowa City, IA†
4/23 The Bottleneck | Lawrence, KS†
4/27 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum | Boston, MA*
5/6 Waiting Room | Buffalo, NY†
5/7 The Haunt | Ithaca, NY†
5/9 Ottobar | Baltimore, MD†
5/10 Chameleon Club | Lancaster, PA†
5/11 Canal Club | Richmond, VA†
5/12 Motorco Music Hall | Durham, NC†
5/19 FIMAV | Victoriaville, QC

†with Thank You Scientist
*with Ruby Rose Fox

"Hands Up" Music Video Release

"Hands Up" Music Video Release

Our fourth and final music video from 2016’s Say So (Cuneiform Records) is now streaming at https://youtu.be/g3G7M2dHivg. A bit of spring cleaning, if you will. Hands Up was produced by Human Being Productions, directed by Greg Bowen, filmed by Rich Ferri and Jon Stenning, and stars the brilliant Gabrielle Zabinski-Valdera. Special thanks to Zabinski Music Studio, Annie Gjelsvik, Farisa Mulvey, Rebekah Zabinski, and the many hands that made this production possible.

The studio recording is available at https://bentknee.bandcamp.com/album/say-so

PopMatters "Best of 2016"

PopMatters "Best of 2016"

Via PopMatters —

"Like countless other remarkable artists, art rock sextet Bent Knee formed out of the revered Berklee College of Music in Boston. Often channeling similar chamber music elements as the Dear Hunter and Emanuel and the Fear, they fuse classical and modern timbres to produce something truly powerful, experimental, and diverse. While their first two records certainly introduced all that makes Bent Knee special, "Say So" takes their creativity, fearlessness, and conceptuality to a whole new level. Dense with “dark[ness] and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations[,] and the difficulty of conquering them”, it’s a brilliant effort.

"Say So" spoils its listener from the get-go, as opener “Black Tar Water” is a breathtakingly hypnotic, multilayered, and a triumphant slice of self-reflection and empowerment. Courtney Swain seizes her redemption with the overwhelming yet eloquent force of say, Tori Amos or Björk, while each new textural coating adds radiance and weight. It’s a masterpiece onto itself, yet it’s only the start of the magic, as “Leak Water”, though a bit more straightforward and compressed, is no less bold and varied. Later, “EVE” interweaves soft songwriting with furious orchestration, while the final track, “Good Girl”, is a bittersweet commentary on the subjugation of women. Of course, there’s also “Commercial”, an off-the-wall trip that induces the intricate insanity of Frank Zappa. Perhaps the greatest achievement of "Say So", however, is that while many of the most anticipated progressive rock albums of 2016 disappointed (The Astonishing, anyone?), it proved that sometimes it’s the lesser known releases that contain the most magnificent material."

Full article at http://www.popmatters.com/feature/the-best-progressive-rock-and-metal-of-2016/P0/

"Live at The Space" Concert Film Release

"Live at The Space" Concert Film Release

Starting today, our new concert film “Live at The Space” can be streamed in its entirety at https://youtu.be/Ws0gHgDd_10. Enjoy, and a huge thanks to all of you who came to see us on tour this summer. A high-quality download of the film (alongside 24-Bit WAV files of the audio recordings) is available for purchase at https://gum.co/bkspace. Additionally, our 2015 concert film “Live at Davis Square Theatre” is now available as a downloadable film/album bundle as well: http://gum.co/bkdst.

"Leak Water" EP Release

To celebrate our Fall North American tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan, we've just released a "name your price" EP — a token of appreciation for the fans that have propelled us this far on our journey. The release includes three studio recordings from our past two albums in addition to their live counterparts.

Hurry up and download the thing! This is a limited run and will disappear at the end of the month.


Track Listing
01 Leak Water
02 Being Human
03 Way Too Long
04 Leak Water (Live)
05 Being Human (Live)
06 Way Too Long (Live)

10/12 Baltimore, MD | Baltimore Soundstage
10/13 Providence, RI | Fete Music Hall
10/14 Poughkeepsie, NY | The Chance Theatre
10/15 New York, NY | Webster Hall
10/17 Pontiac, MI | The Crofoot
10/18 Cleveland, OH | House of Blues
10/19 Indianapolis, IN | The Vogue Theatre
10/20 St Louis, MO | Pop's
10/21 Lawrence, KS | The Granada Theater
10/22 Denver, CO | Marquis Theatre
10/23 Salt Lake City, UT | Urban Lounge


Courtney Swain in Keyboard Mag

Courtney Swain in Keyboard Mag

"Bent Knee is no ordinary musical collective. A masterful mashup of electronica, progressive pop and art rock (think Jeff Buckley meets Rush meets Edith Piaf), the band has received widespread acclaim for both their live shows and their new release, Say So, out now on the Cuneiform label. And keyboardist, vocalist, and front-woman Courtney Swain has been there from the very beginning."

Many thanks to Jon Regan and Keyboard Magazine for featuring Courtney in this month's issue! Read the full article at http://www.keyboardmag.com/artists/1236/courtney-swain-of-bent-knee/59826