Boomkat Product Review:
Khonnor is a 17-year-old wonderboy from smalltown Vermont, usa - who has somehow managed to craft the most startling singer-songwriter debut we've heard in years. with an uncanny maturity and a gleefully rebellious lack of regard for generic restraint, Connor Kirby-long has taken influence from the sonic disruptions and considered melodic dimensions of outsider heroes like Christian Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke, Sonic Youth and even The Smiths.....all in between dodging maths class and fitting in his homework. Khonnor's early experiments stemmed from exceptionally original and unrestrained mixtures of guitar, twisted lyrics and abrasive electronic noise. Using only an old PC, a microphone from a 'Learn Japanese' boxset and a single low quality PC speaker, Connor creates something highly original - picking up the gauntlet thrown down by Fennesz on his now fully fledged classic 'Endless Summer'. Dreamlike digitally manipulated guitar disruptions and wavering synths form the foundation for most of the tracks, as Khonnor frankly and openly charts the ups and downs of teenage love, pocket change and lost hazy nights. 'Megan's present' breathes with a kind of plangent optimism, which may remind some of the finest moments in Mercury Rev's back catalogue. In a year when electronic music has been encroaching on the sensibilities of the pop world, where indie-electronic albums are no longer an oddity, Khonnor's music offers something different. The punk rock attitude, the seemingly innate understanding of distortion and electronic manipulation, the fresh and heartfelt emotion, the unhidden fragility and anticlimaxes of adolescence. This seventeen year old from Vermont, in his debut album, has compiled something so personal and original that its frightening to imagine where he might take us next. For the meantime, remind yourself of the gentle, complex inner vocabulary that engages the teenage mind and wonder at just how often it's managed to find expression in something so fragile, flawed and oddly complete as this quite breathtaking debut album. "Handwriting" is a quite amazing debut, fitting that it's on john Xela and Stef Lewandowski's Type imprint. Essential purchase.