Daniel Knishkowy is a singer/songwriter based out of New York City. He writes music under the project title, Adeline Hotel. Last fall MFL reviewed his, then, newest record, How Strange It is to See. This past May, Dan released his newest full lenght, It’s Alright, Just the Same. I got to ask Dan some questions about his new records, old records and what’s to come for Adeline Hotel.
MFL: There is a sense of fullness to this new record in comparison to How Strange It Is to See. What is that a reflection of?
Dan Knishkowy (DK): That’s definitely intentional, although maybe more a reflection of How Strange, which was written and recorded quickly and franticly, without much editing or production. I wanted the songs on this album to be more fleshed out and collaborative with the friends who play on it.
MFL: Where did the title of your record come from?
DK: It’s a line I’ve been sitting on for years, and finally ended up using it in “Oh Well” and “Reciprocal Ages”, which bookend the record so it gave it a nice circularity. The record traces the thrill of new cities, new partners, new experiences, with the inevitable leveling out that follows. It’s beautiful but it’s lonely, invigorating, yet familiar in it’s restless; it’s alright, just the same. We use these big moments to try and change our shit, but that process is not a passive thing. It’s in the little moments, and you have to put in the work. I think the writing and recording of these songs was about working through that.
MFL: There are some interesting background sounds during “Oh Well.” Can you touch on this a bit? What are they and what did they add to the music for you?
DK: I’ve always liked the slow-burn album opener to ease the listener in and set the scene. We added a lot of guitars and some creepy cymbal noise to create that ambiance. My favorite track one of all time is “At Least That’s What You Said” by Wilco and I was aiming for that – something extremely intimate right off the bat, followed by a chaotic guitar jam to kind of announce the scope of where this album might go.
MFL: What is performing like for you and what kind of venues do you prefer? Your music is very intimate so I imagine small crowds, coffee shops.
DK: Sometimes I play solo and sometimes with a band, depending on the venue. With a band is more fun, usually bigger and better venues, but solo is more exciting, because it’s intimate and I can improvise and try new songs
MFL: If you were to pick a particular track from each of your records that means the most to you, what would they be and why? It’s OK if this question is too challenging!
DK: “Another Way To Go” from my first album is the oldest AH track. I think I recorded 4 different versions in the years leading up to finally making my first record and it’s where the name Adeline Hotel comes from. It’s also still my favorite to play live from that. From the EP, I like “Red Coat”, because I wrote it in one sitting, stream of consciousness. It feels direct and immediate, whereas most of my songs are more pensive and unfold slowly. “Reciprocal Ages” is my favorite on the new record, but “So Recognizable” means a lot – it was the last one written and hints at a different direction musically. It’s also the only vaguely happy love song I’ve written (the hardest kind of song to write!)
MFL: What was the beginning of Adeline Hotel and how did the project come to be?
DK: I went to a studio to record my first full length in 2013. I don’t write names for songs until the last minute, but one demo was temporarily titled “Adeline Hotel” – it was the only name that was any good, so I used it for the project instead.
MFL: When and how did music become part of your life?
DK: Music and instruments were just always part of my house growing up. I started playing drums first and then guitar.
MFL: Is the “Disarray” on It’s Alright Just the Same the same as that you released in 2014?
DK: Yeah, that’s a stripped down live version I did with my bandmate Andrew Stocker (who also makes great music under the name Horse Teeth). It felt like a track that could work with different arrangements, so I wanted to get it down while it was still fresh and then do a fuller version later for this album.
MFL: What do 2016 and 2017 have in store for Adeline Hotel?
DK: Right now, I’m writing a lot and also playing drums in a couple different bands in Brooklyn. My goal is get the songs together to start recording a new record next spring.
Big thank you to Dan for always sending me the latest from Adeline Hotel and taking the time to provide thoughtful answers to my questions. You can purchase all of Adeline Hotel’s music on his Bandcamp page.
Photo Credit: Chris Bernabeo