Prog-rock band Bent Knee leavens its ambitious arrangements thanks to singer Courtney Swain | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Prog-rock band Bent Knee leavens its ambitious arrangements thanks to singer Courtney Swain

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The members of Boston’s Bent Knee came together in 2009 while attending the Berklee College of Music, and there’s no question that the wildly ambitious sextet absorbed a lot of lessons and ideas while in school. As heard on its forthcoming fourth album, Land Animal (due June 23 from InsideOut Music), the group melds styles with breathless precision, putting a sparkling pop veneer on its elegant prog-rock grooves, thanks largely to the rangy vocals of keyboardist Courtney Swain. At times reminiscent of My Brightest Diamond’s operatic singer Shara Worden, Swain has an even wider vocal range and without a stumble can modulate her voice to seem ethereal, sugary, or ferocious. The intricate, masterfully executed arrangements borrow freely from alt-rock, jazz, soul, metal, and even bits of classical music; the record’s an omnivorous brew assembled with such fizzy verve and craft that it feels impossible not to admire it. The only problem I keep having is figuring out whether or not I actually like it.   v

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