Earlier this year, Calgary soul singer Jess Knights released the first single off her upcoming debut LP, Best Kind of Light, due out on May 20. Now, she’s sharing “Cover Your Eyes,” a biting commentary on what society chooses to ignore, with Joey Landreth contributing soothing harmonies to the chorus.
The track offers various scenarios in which people turn a blind eye, the spry piano-pop melodies contradicting the dark subject matter. From an undercover gambler who shares their loot in exchange for silence, to a cheating husband and a knowing wife who keeps quiet to keep her family together, to a conservative town that lets a bishop get away with abuse.
Knights doesn’t shy away from calling it as it is, crooning about our most uncomfortable truths, especially in a verse about overlooking the homeless. “He asks you for help, you got places to be/You think to yourself, ‘Thank God, it’s not me’/Pull down your shades, you pretend not to see/Cover your eyes.”
It’s in these confronting lyrics, however, that a universal message lies: the world needs humanity now more than ever.
“The lyrics began as a criticism of myself,” Knights says. “I would walk past an emergency shelter every day on my way to work. Some days, I would engage with the people outside of the shelter, and other days I would put on my headphones, pull down my sunglasses, and try not see or be seen. It made me think of all the scenarios in life where we turn a blind eye. For better or worse, it seems to be something that humans do as a coping mechanism or survival method. I’m hoping this song won’t be perceived as a criticism, but rather a wake-up call.”
Knights’ highly anticipated debut full-length, Best Kind of Light, brings into focus the moody, dimly-lit spectrum of her classically-trained voice, which has drawn comparisons to U.K. luminaries Amy Winehouse and Eliza Doolittle.
Recorded in Toronto with award-winning producer Joshua Van Tassel, the album features the crème de la crème of songsmiths and sidemen, including Donovan Woods, R. Grunwald, and others.
Upon the release of her decade-in-the-making debut 2018 EP, Won’t Wait, Knights landed on several year-end lists with the Calgary Herald and TheYYScene naming her one to watch. The EP received significant play on SiriusXM, enjoyed spins on CBC Radio, and charted on college stations throughout Canada.
Knights will reunite with collaborators Van Tassel and Grunwald for an intimate show in Calgary on March 14, with more Canadian tour dates to be announced this summer.
- Leave Me for the Last Time
- Cover Your Eyes
- Best Kind of Light
- Try a Little Harder
- Curtain Call
- Baby, Won’t You Stay
- Try it On
- One Last Shot
- Young and Foolish
- This is 30 (Bonus Track)
Upcoming Canadian Tour Dates:
March 14 – cSPACE King Edward – Calgary, AB