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Frosting

by Bent Knee

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fruitcumber
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fruitcumber the weirdest album from an already very weird band. i'm not sure i really get it yet, but it's definitely a lot of fun! Favorite track: Baby In The Bush.
jccameron
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jccameron When mankind finally reaches societal nirvana; with us all living in clarity of true creativity and unselfish execution, I am certain that our soundtrack will include Frosting. How could it not? Until then enjoy the beautiful sound of the future... Favorite track: Cake Party.
Risotto Drake
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Risotto Drake As stated above, this album has varying moods and styles. Just as you drift into pleasant reveries, it thwacks you in the viscera. This is how music should be, thank you.
benjamin_d
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benjamin_d Such an intense mix of emotions. It's all over the place in the best possible way. Favorite track: The Floor Is Lava.
Eric Gedenk
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Eric Gedenk I never know what to expect when Bent Knee releases something, and sure enough, this album is nothing like anything they've released. It feels so complete. Seamless transititions across a really dynamic mix of styles and sounds. Love at first listen.
munstopher5
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munstopher5 Absolutely not what I expected, but in a great way. An audacious experiment blending their art rock roots with hyper-pop synth and autotune. No other band could produce an album that sounds like this. Favorite track: Not This Time.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Bent Knee's new album 'Frosting' on a CD like it's 2003

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Bent Knee's new album on a coke bottle clear record w/ blue splatter to match the cover - you really can Have It All ;)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Frosting via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around May 6, 2022
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  • T-Shirt/Apparel

    sky blue shirt with a cat and some yarn that spells "Bent Knee," OMG ;)
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  • T-Shirt/Apparel

    a silly lil demon guy on a soft lil hoodie for Bent Knee
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      $34.99 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Bent Knee's new album on a coke bottle splatter double LP + a t-shirt to match

    Includes unlimited streaming of Frosting via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around May 6, 2022
    Purchasable with gift card

      $49.99 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Bent Knee's new album on a double LP + a new hoodie to wear when you're spinning it

    Includes unlimited streaming of Frosting via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around May 6, 2022
    Purchasable with gift card

      $64.99 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Bent Knee's new album on a double LP, CD, plus the shirt + hoodie - invest... in this bundle ;)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Frosting via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around May 6, 2022
    Purchasable with gift card

      $84.99 USD or more 

     

1.
I wrecked you on the record you call me cause your neck hurts you call me cause your neck’s out I can't believe it I can't believe that in all the places I could run into you it was right now when I needed you most I can't believe my good luck that I met you yeah Give me the Pop-Tart® popped give me the deadlock locked give me the nice house bought Give me a face full of my foot You blocked me from your black hole I’m feeling like a spice I’m feeling like oregano I can’t believe it I can’t believe after all the days and wash basins I finally feel clean enough to call you out yeah [Chorus] We got lovin’ rolled in batter Cry over me yeah when we fold I know it’s not ok Open up look away We got lovin’ rolled in batter Cry over me yeah when we fold I know it’s not ok Open up look around, down, It’s not cool, it’s not about you [Chorus]
2.
This This is so far off Off From what I What I believe in This is so far off From what I wanted   I watched you live I watched you live And it's no better I watched you live I watched you live And it's no better I watched you live I watched you live And it's no better I returned to my mother in a ball And cried cried cried in a song I hadn't sung before It was bright damage Bursting off your voice Your voice I watched ???????????????????
3.
Casper 02:16
I cannot be a good one It’s where you’re born it’s who you’re born to We all tuck in our shirts and get our hands to work in dirt we work in oooooooo I’m holding out for green lights It’s for my lungs it’s for my mom too We all are sick of home but Rotting in the ground seems rough I’m tired but tough Hold me hold my ever alone Isn’t it over Hasn’t it slowed (I cannot be a...) Hug myself and kiss the mirror never alone The thread of your sweater Pull ‘til it’s gone I cannot be a good one It’s where you’re born it’s who you’re born to We all tuck in our shirts and get our hands to work in dirt we work in oooooooo I’m holding out for green lights It’s for my lungs it’s for my mom too We all are sick of home but Rotting in the ground seems rough I’m tired but tough Then I get the feeling that I left for the Fall I must have closed my eyes I will soon forever know But no I can’t even hold all I have ‘til then I can Hold me hold my ever alone Isn’t it over Hasn’t it slowed Hug myself and kiss the mirror never alone The thread of your sweater Pull till it’s gone I’m holding out for green lights It’s for my lungs it’s for my mom too We all are sick of home but Rotting in the ground seems rough I’m tired but tough
4.
This guy This fucking guy Holding up traffic With his fucking sign My my a wasted mind Seven times I passed him by I cashed in all my minutes I traded all my time I get to drive real fast In the traffic lines I get to bump bump bumpers I get to get home tired This guy This stupid guy Playing the lotto like he’s gonna win it sometime But no one is made a fool Like the ones who wish for something new Everyone’s got it all figured out Throw the ball it’s my turn now Throw the ball I’ll tear you down I’ll tear you down I’ll tear you down Fighting all my life for the slice I get it You want it bad but you will never give it up You turn me on my brother Turn me on my friend I got more in common with each of them That’s enough Ok, I’ll keep it light It’s not like I’m saying what everyone’s thinking right? Try as you might To change my mind  
5.
The horizon is heavy The water says it could be worse The air says it will never change An equilibrium of sorts Grotesque colors that flex Baring their teeth as they drive I tell you I need you now more than ever And you say (yeah) And I say, “well yeah, but did you hear me right?” And you say (yeah) And I get this feeling that you’re not really listening And you say (yeah) And I want to tell you that you are the line in the sand And you say (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah) You have it all figured it out You feel safe inside your house You turn your head and look around And realize I’m you And you are me And I am you I’m complacent inside the crowd Waiting for a pat on the snout Frightful I might scuff up my brow What kind of fucked up shit is that
6.
Set It Off 04:56
I set it off For the lies, for the hope, for the know For the “livin’ my own”, yeah         I set it off For the live, for the love And the lure of going forth Living nice, but I can’t hold on for us While you renew And it’s true, for I adore you Once, whilom But I follow my gold way But, who but you? You win my heart I’m ruined out here Running on fossils and a prelude I set it off Would anoint a few role in the loft And you’re always zooming no one Day of a mother’s strength And then you’re daisy But it ain’t that easy no Set it off
7.
Pause 00:34
8.
Have It All 03:41
I have fun at the beach I have fun at the mall I can gossip all night long I look good on a man See my face from the stands Be a hold for your hand Please don’t go They always say I’m mean But I think I’m pretty funny They’re just jealous I am gorgeous They always say I’m mean But I think it’s pretty funny That I have it all together I have it. All. I have fun being the bitch I have fun against odds I can roll my eyes past the stars I look good with a tan I get tons of new fans And who can blame them? Goddamn But please don’t go They always say I’m mean But I think I’m pretty funny They’re just jealous I am gorgeous They always say I’m mean But I think I’m pretty funny That I Have it all together I have it all
9.
Queer Gods 04:12
Don’t get your panties in a bunch I’m just saying what we’re all thinking It’s tedious to play within Predetermined roles we’re all given Don’t you get tired of being the good guy Don’t you get tired of being the dry eye in the room Can’t you see past the pink and blue queues In the thick of the night I pray to the queer gods Give me a better guy, give me a better guy I'm something ancient radiating round the shovel while you’re digging You find the bones and the little tomes but not the meaning Sifting through gems and calling them sand You press my waves as I flow through your hand From the earth and sea I’m the sun and the night In the shifting light I pray to the queer gods When it gets colder on your own Steal your breath and close your eyes Heaven is wasted on the throne When it gets colder on your own Soaked in blight and cheap cologne Knees to the dirt eyes to the sky Give me Give me a better guy
10.
Rib Woman 02:43
And then you find me Just like it’s always been I take half of your heart We’ll make it easy We’ll agree and agree Don’t fall asleep on me Do we stand at the shoulder Bring in the glow of young supple heat And untouched meat Yeah we know how to gussy up Turn heads and Pitch tents in any bed My god I’m more than More than more than a Rib woman Uhh too bad I’m only of you You’re like aww too bad brought your big brain with you I’m like I merely want to taste the fucking fruit I am all that I am I am all that I do
11.
Ermine 00:45
12.
Keys in the aisle I hear my mama among the strangers My favorite meal blue on my tongue Sugar on sugar the floor is lava I fake asleep So you will carry me And talk so soft to me Lie in the sun Potato bug Rolled up in armor Don’t let ‘em hurt ya You always have to know You always have to know What I’d do for you Clothes in a pile I wear your goggles I gotta have more Tears in my eyes Singing by fire I never felt more Like other people You always have to know You always have to know What I’d do for you You always have to know You always have to know I’m made of you
13.
Cake Party 03:18
I just got my pass to see the ocean climbing climbing out of itself It's enough to know I know I don't know when enough's enough to notice nothing living in my hole oh holy knowing god to go I've got to go where god is never looking hiding in my home In my home Hiding in my home Your final gasp I watch you in your box not a clue you're being helped just the wound and nothing else Hiding in my home In my home Here, there, over where Ask where I belong
14.
OMG 02:47
How close do I get to your face before         You push me back I fall forward We act surprised, but it’s designed Little pawns in a big war Jenny at the store with nothin’ Jenny gets caught shopliftin’ Someone getting taught a little lesson Someone stayed dead when they came down hard Cannot be blamed for browsing Cannot be blamed for arousing Pieces past their prime Pieces past their prime Jenny in the club with nothin’ Jenny getting clubbed for speakin’ Someone’s in the dark for the weekend Someone stayed dead when they roughed him up Cannot be blamed for a break in Cannot be blamed for resisting Caught in a current Mess up and lay Lost inadvertent Buck up and bray Silence Can you concurrently swear A truth and a lie Bully a neighbor Fess up and brag Murder a lover and stay silent
15.
Own up to your mistakes It’s the only way to move forward You’ve grieved for the heartache Try to build a time machine, do it over There no debts to repay All the guilt’s a sham to keep you under The risk always outweighs A big change, of course But now’s the time there’s no reason to change your mind I’m breaking free I’m breaking free I’m breaking free Not this time Sewn in by your worst traits But just you wait You’re bustin’ open You’re gaunt baby you’re faint But the whole of your strength Bone wrapped in muscle Why stay when it won’t change When you know, you know, you know You don’t have to be told no The risk always outweighs A big change, of course But now’s the time there’s no reason to change your mind [chorus] You can’t keep me down Don’t you dare Change your mind It will take all your might Break some bones Take some time Fortify

about

***This Is A Pre-Order***
***This Is A Double LP***
***Vinyl Ships Late Spring 2022***

Bent Knee are not a band for convention. In fact, since forming in 2009, the Boston-based six-piece have been on a constant journey of musical exploration that thoroughly disregards it. The result is five records that completely defy categorization and transcend genre. In other words, the band don’t just break the rules, they make up their own. That’s ensured they exist exclusively on their own terms. Frosting, the band’s sixth full-length, pushes those boundaries even further. It’s the most Bent Knee-esque Bent Knee record to date, which means that, simultaneously, it’s also the album of theirs that sounds the least like Bent Knee.
 
That’s perhaps a journey the band – Courtney Swain (lead vocals/keyboards), Ben Levin (lead guitar/backing vocals), Jessica Kion (bass/backing vocals), Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth (drums), Chris Baum (violin/backing vocals) and Vince Welch (synthesizers/guitar) – would have taken anyway, but the extent to which it’s true was amplified by circumstance. While no-one needs reminding about the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, it did mean that Bent Knee weren’t able to approach the making of this record in the same way as the previous five. In fact, this one was written entirely remotely.

“This was definitely very different,” admits Welch, who – like all previous Bent Knee albums – was also behind the sound design and production of this one. “Every other album had basically been the band in a room at at least some point in the process, but we finished this one still having never played these songs together. And then the technological limitation of having to send each other everything created this different dynamic that slowed everything down. You didn’t have to react to an idea in like half a second – you could take an afternoon to ponder it.”


“It was really interesting writing-wise,” adds Kion, “because it became a lot less about how quickly each person could get their idea out. And the ideas also didn’t have to be fully formed to exist. We each had these little seedling ideas that were all up for grabs – just writing these tiny little pieces and just sharing them and working with whatever felt good. And that made such a different album.”

That approach meant that, even after a decade writing songs together, the band were still learning new things about the way they worked together. Taking those seedlings – which, for example, might be just two bars – that were up for grabs, the six of them worked communally from afar to build these songs from the ground up. Whether it was by mashing two of those seedlings together or writing a verse over one of them, everybody in the band chipped in the ways they saw fit to get the most out of those initial ideas.


“One of my favorite things that happened,” says Kion, “was to hear Chris start writing the bridges, because they’re amazing. I’m actually kind of upset that it took so long to realize that – we’re a decade in and we only just now found out that Chris is the bridge guy!” 


The process didn’t just open the band’s eyes to previously unknown strengths, however. It also – rather ironically – afforded them much more freedom to do whatever they wanted musically, to really push the boat out when it came to sounds and ideas. Being forced to work within a more limited capacity than they ever had before actually meant there were fewer limits.   
“With this record,” says Welch, “we were starting from a different kind of baseline. When you’re in a room, everyone’s kind of restricted to what’s in that room. But when everyone’s in their own place with their own stuff, there’s a much broader range of things they can do, such as recording at different speeds or using and splicing samples together.”

The result is a record that contains a wealth of disparate sounds and influences, one that continues the band’s innate refusal to be pigeonholed (“It drives me crazy when musicians limit themselves on account of genre,” says Welch). As such, Frosting is an album that veers wildly in atmosphere and texture, but which all comes together to form one beautifully cohesive whole. It starts with the energizing technicolor burst of “Invest In Breakfast”, a hyper-pop song that’s akin to the sugar rush of a bowl of Fruit Loops, but that’s then followed by the portentous, harrowing and almost apocalyptic avant-gardisms of “Baby In The Bush”, a somber, slow-motion storm of emotional damage. The contrast between the two is striking, but that’s the point.

This is an album that ebbs and flows between extremes, musically and lyrically, that captures the gamut of human emotion and experience. There’s the good-natured, uplifting electronic sunshine of “Casper” and the carefree, soulful musical breeze of “Fighting All My Life” – and then the twisted, tortured, Nine Inch Nails-referencing 21st century schizoid blast of “The Upward Spiral”. That, though, is followed by the calming, peaceful and heartbroken “Set It Off”, one of the most vulnerable and tender moments on this record. Elsewhere, “Have It All” – one of many songs that incorporates format shifted vocals into its folds – is a spirited neo-pop song that sets the tone for the highly-charged
“Queer Gods” that immediately follows it. “The Floor Is Lava” travels back in time to the innocence of childhood. “OMG” almost sounds like a collision of five different songs before it bleeds into the shapeshifting finale of “Not This Time”. A rousing album closer, it almost seems to reprise the entire the musical and emotional journey that preceded it before fading into a haunting, sad silence.  

“The whole record is a mix of lighthearted and pretty songs, and then heavy, nasty songs,” says Welch. “I initially thought it was going to have to be multiple EPs, but we decided to lean into the differences between the songs and find an album order that switches as aggressively as possible.”

But Frosting is not just an exploration of creativity, nor does it simply continue the impressively innovative journey they’ve been on since the start. It’s also an important celebration of pure creativity, of the freedom to follow your muse, of making art for the love and joy of making art. Which, after all, is really the only reason it should ever be made. That’s something the band took to heart especially for this album. 

“We’re an independent band again,” explains Kion. “So many things have added up to mean that we can make this what we actually need it to be for us – whereas for a very long time it was a lot about just growing and asking permission and not getting a response or not getting it. For a long time, it felt like we were grinding out gears to just exist, and I feel like we’re recently truly understanding what it’s like to be free again. We’ve been able to pick our own path and decide what we want to make and what we want to do.”

credits

released November 5, 2021

Bent Knee is:
Ben Levin
Chris Baum
Courtney Swain
Jessica Kion
Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth
Vince Welch

FROSTING
Written and performed by Bent Knee
Produced and mixed by Vince Welch
Engineered by Bent Knee, Bradford Krieger, Chaimes Parker, David Minehan, and Danielle Goldsmith
Additional vocal production by Josh Friedman
Mastered by Randy Roos at Squam Sound
Recorded at our home studios, Big Nice Studio, The Record Company, Tiny Telephone, and Woolly Mammoth Sound
Album art by Ben Levin
© 2021 Bent Knee

Additional performances by:
Joe Gullace (trumpet), Quinn Carson (trombone), and Tyler Brasch (alto sax)

Ben endorses D’Addario strings

Thanks to:
Our parents, siblings, and grandparents
Anthony Gesa
Marina Constantinou
Andria Nicodemou & family
Clay Walnum
Matt McArthur
Jamie Rowe
Dan Vado
Kris and Kristy McCoy
Thomas Hatton
Dave Morrison & Susan Young
Josh Friedman
Rick Macha
Susan Rogers
Randy Roos
Faye Fadem
Bradford Krieger
Chaimes Parker
Luke McGinnis
Marilyn McGinnis
Uncle Art & Aunt Linda
Colleen Broughton
Caitlyn O'Brien
Kyle Harris
Eric Freeman
Nathan Cohen
Dave Vives
The TYS Crew
Tim Doherty
Kate Bilinski
Morgan Young
Elliott Klein
Robert & Shannon Henry
John Lashnits

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Bent Knee Boston, Massachusetts

A band occupying sonic territory entirely their own, Bent Knee continues to break ground with each successive album, a record maintained with 2019’s extraordinary "You Know What They Mean". The Boston outfit’s myriad influences are distilled into a deeply moving art-form that defies categorization, merging texture and style into music that’s thrilling, addictive, and unapologetically original. ... more

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