Written by Zachariah Calluori
rock solid is the solo project of Pratt freshman Jaime Knoth, and “your plan(t)” is her latest release in a series of demos. Knoth’s tunes, and “your plan(t)” in particular, feel motivated yet somber, sounding out deeply personal expressions with a subtle intensity delivered on acoustic guitar and voice. But don’t expect the unthreatening, pre-school pop of a Frankie Cosmos just because of Knoth’s no-frills approach. In its vulnerability, beauty, and subtlety, rock solid’s sound is perhaps more akin to the fully-developed maturity of Mitski with the emotional import of Angel Olsen. However, Knoth’s proficiency on guitar sets her apart from both. Rather than thumbing roots or strumming out chords in consistent downstrokes, Knoth displays fingerpicking chops and good sense of when to use them, at times making the artistic choice to activate a more trebly, metallic timbre or driving rhythmic feeling through strumming but always prepared to return to the plucking’s dark intimacy when appropriate. This sort of intra-guitar orchestration gives a sense of completeness, of a band contained within the fingers. In addition, each fingerpicked note seems to be tinged with a fragile, shivering upper harmonic, which adds an interesting effect.
Knoth’s vocals are, at times, quite dexterous (see one minute, ten seconds in) but never seem contrived; they escape the uniformity a trained vocal can sometimes fall into but also resist reverting to the consciously breathy, untrained sound that has become such a popular stylistic choice. Unique and pure, her voice molds only to the emotional twists and turns of “your plan(t)”, which tackles love and its complications in multiple temporalities. A newly recorded EP featuring “your plan(t)” is soon to be released.