Track: Shoegaze/dream pop exponents the Know are back with new single ‘Used To Be’ and all is right in the world.

It’s been over two years since husband and wife duo the Know released their shimmering EP ‘wearetheknow’ (see my review here), and as a sign that things can only get better, they have retuned with their signature cotton wool-wrapped shimmering sonic style in the new single ‘Used To Be’.

The Know are Daniel Knowles and Jennifer Farmer. Knowles had previously worked as a producer and guitarist for UK shoegaze band Amusement Parks on Fire and more recently co-produced the Sharon Van Etten album “We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong’.

The Know have an innate ability to capture a filtered sunshine sound – bubble gum flavoured shimmering sweetness imbued with an element of melancholy and loss. ‘Used To Be’ has a celestial sparkle and searing melodies delivered on a wall of glittering guitars and synths that ebb and flow like waves coming onto the shore. Farmer’s vocals are candy floss light and distant, reverberating with a dreamy reverie.

But the themes of the track add a shade to the shine. Knowles says of the track:

…then of course the pandemic hit, people all around us were having their relationships tested in lockdown with significant others, some relationships came out stronger, some didn’t survive. And on a more universal scale lots of people worldwide were dealing with a loss of normality, loss of connection with other people, suddenly not being able to do simple things like buy groceries, things we’d all taken for granted.

Relationships, stressed and strained by the vicissitudes of life, rent apart by the weird aberration in the continuum of life that is COVID:

and I did not wait for you
cos you did not wait for me
we looked in all the places it used to be
and I did not wait for you
that shit does nothing for me
running round all the places it used to be
we looked in all the places it used to be

This is a glorious wash of sound and emotion coasting through the ether, with a filigree of poignancy that seeps through every note. The subtleties of the message are delivered with delicacy in the accompanying video, directed by Farmer, where the relationship between the protagonists seems ominous and tense as the story progresses – a life journey that is vulnerable, passing through stages, growing and receding:

‘Used To Be’ is available to stream and download here.

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