Adeline Hotel is the project of New York-based guitarist and vocalist Dan Knishkowy. A few months after Good Timing, he has released a new album called The Cherries Are Speaking which is out today via Ruination Record Co. According to the press release, Singing in harmony with Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats, Knishkowy folds autobiographical moments of meditative introspection into imagery from Italo Calvino’s 1957 novel The Baron in the Trees—the titular cherries come to life as saxophones swell, adding intrigue to a narrator “only living for the flaw of being free.”
Check the full streaming below and read the stories and the thoughts behind each track of this new work.
“Devotion” – A woodwind and string duet, with its name taken from a lyric on the title track: “No religion like devotion, a kind of living to be free”. This was the last piece I wrote for the record, and it’s the connecting link between my previous record, Good Timing, and this one. I love the silence between the notes, and the audible breath before each saxophone line that really epitomizes the tension between needing isolation and craving connection. I was really inspired by this Charles Mingus tune “Canon”.
“The Cherries Are Speaking” – On every record, there’s one song that lets you know it’s time to start recording and that was “Cherries”. The whole record is loosely based around a character from the Italo Calvino novel The Baron In The Trees, and this song most explicitly so. My favorite lyric is here, “only living for the flaw of being free”, and the woodwind / string arrangement is the centerpiece of the record, played beautifully by Macie Stewart and Dave Lackner. Singing with Eric from Fruit Bats is really a dream come true—he’s a longtime songwriting hero of mine, who’s records have meant a lot over the years.
“We Got Outside” – The first song I wrote for the record, and the blueprint for the rest. I wrote this in early covid during a long run on beach, just repeating the lyrics over and over in my head as I went, determined not to forget them. I sat down at the piano when I got home and there it all was, fully formed. Listening back now, I can really hear that claustrophobia of being stuck indoors, and the relief in the first breath of air. My friend Caitlin Pasko sings beautiful harmonies on this one.
“In A Simple Way” – I consider this record the final chapter in the trilogy that started with Solid Love, and Good Timing after that. This song in particular traces that connection (“smell of cinnamon” “ordinary things” & “laughing on the floor” all appear on SL). Andrew’s bass playing is so funky yet understated; he’s always been the rock behind this project, but especially on Cherries, where I’m playing a new and unfamiliar instrument, and we’re leaving more space than ever before. “I don’t need kindness from you in a simple way” is a line that has stuck with me for years, hinting at a deep and unspoken trust in relationships that I aspire to have.
“Lot To Listen” – I was listening obsessively to Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Music For Nine Postcards and became fascinated with the technique on “Blink” where the accents don’t quite land together, notes sort of flam, or roll, into each other. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to have record making be a habitual part of your life, the connotations of artistic ambition, and what “success” means in this day and age. Vivian of V.V. Lightbody sings those beautiful echo vocals, and it really captures that dissociative feeling of creating alone then sharing with others.
“Only A Little” – Picks up the threads from the previous tracks, asking whether we are most free without constraints, or if stability provides the platform to create without compromise? (“I was hoping for the obvious, a kind of living to be free”) I am fascinated by finding the correct balance between work and art, and the ways that imperceptible shifts can drastically effect your creativity and happiness.
“Raspberry Stains” – I’ve been hanging on to the opening couplet for many years now, waiting to give it to the right song: “Raspberry stains on the side of your mouth and I seek them; on the table are books that I’ll start but won’t read them” It just feels like home to me, and the last line is sort of a mantra that I wrote as a reminder to myself: “Find the love that it takes, to love in our mistakes.”
“We Go Outside, Again” – Another callback to Good Timing (“we go outside / good timing”) and the piano riff from “Only A Little”. I wanted this record to be a world all it’s own, so it felt right to have this track tie up some loose hanging threads. I love the warmth of the tape hiss, and the vulnerability of the vocal take, the only one that I did. A reminder to step outside my comfort zone, even when—or especially when—it’d be easier not to.