Justin Kniest aka JUST is a Dutch-born singer-songwriter. His music is a mixture of Avant-Pop, Synthwave and Post Rock. It has been compared to Talk Talk and Japan.
May 2022 Justin released his debutalbum Deep Cycles on vinyl. A melancholic album with eight songs that tell stories of sorrow, loss and hope.
- 1. Dark Days 4:50
- 2. Walk Slow Smile More 3:53
- 3. Into The Fire 4:38
- 4. Down The River 5:38
- 5. Feels Like Home 4:43
- 6. Every Little Tear 3:43
- 7. Desperate Play 4:41
- 8. Eye Of The Storm 6:21
“Deep Cycles sounds great! Love the vocals, drumsound and textures”
Phill Brown (engineer/mixer Talk Talk, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music)
“It is perhaps the most immaculately produced and executed album I’ve ever heard. There is not a note or a nuance throughout it that isn’t perfectly judged and exquisitely balanced. Its flawlessness is mesmerising.”
Simon Napier-Bell (manager Japan, Ultravox, Wham!)
“Deep Cycles is a melancholic yet uplifting work of vulnerability and courage”
David Joseph (Held By Trees)
Buy the CD, Vinyl or Download online. Experience the beautiful artwork by James Marsh (Talk Talk, Jamiroquay) in your hands.
Justin Kniest (1969) is no stranger in the Dutch music scene. As booker at Paradiso Amsterdam and founder of Fabchannel – Concerts Online, he dedicated a large part of his career to promoting new music. The fact that he plays multiple instruments, sings and writes songs he kept to himself. Years of exposure to quality music in Paradiso Amsterdam had raised the bar to a paralysing level.
That all changed in 2019 when Justin wrote and performed two sad, melancholic and painfully personal songs during a songwriter bootcamp in Spain. The strong emotional reaction to his songs made him decide to take the step into the forefront. He recorded both songs in his home studio and released them under the name JUST. Both songs got airplay on Dutch national radio and amassed over 40.000 plays on Spotify.
In early 2020 Justin decided that his debut album should be produced by Minco Eggersman (UNIFONY, ME, At The Close of Every Day). Eggersman is a well-known producer and international soundtrack composer who has proved to know his way around the world of melancholic music and showing brokenness through beautiful and musical textures.
Together they started working on the first demos and after a short period of time both arranger René de Vries and engineer/mixer Theodoor Borger (UNIFONY) joined the team. JUST was beginning to find its final form. Great songs followed and the rest of 2020 and the first half of 2021 were filled with the production of JUST’s debut album “Deep Cycles.”
Transparent, heartfelt, melancholic: only a few terms that come to mind when listening to the music of JUST. One immediately recognizes the quality in songwriting as well as recording of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The depth in both the recordings and mixes are second to none and sometimes remind you of bands like Talk Talk. Songwise it’s a mix of the song structures used by Mike Lindup and David Sylvian, yet these songs definitely deserve their place in between the works of more present-day songwriters like Thomas Dybdahl and Emmet Tinley.
In all, JUST’s music comes to life because of the excellent performances of the participating artists. Justin plays guitar, bass & piano. Minco plays the drums. Famous German session guitar-player Lothar Kosse (Nir Z., brothers Bissionette, Abraham Laborial) added his typical sounding ‘swell’ guitar sounds to the tracks to create some lovely and verby textures. Keyboard player Stephen Smith (ABC, Dire Straits) played Hammond on several tracks.
The artwork of the album has been created by James Marsh who also designed the iconic Talk Talk albums. Last but not least photographer Maarten Corbijn made some stunning black and white pictures that accompany the music of JUST.
Upon its initial digital release in October 2021 “Deep Cycles” gained critical acclaim by music industry heavyweights as well as the press. The first singles amassed over 100.000 plays on Spotify.
In 2022 Justin played guitar on the album Solace by Held By Trees, an album ‘in the spirit of’ Talk Talk featuring seven musicians who played on the last two Talk Talk albums.
Given nothing but the sound of waves and the key of C# major, Justin created a melancholic guitar part that found its way to the track “Wave Upon Wave.” Next to blues legend Eric Bibb and ambient producer Peter Moon aka Unknown Replica.
“Solace” entered the UK Indie chart at #12 on April 29th 2022.
On May 13th, 2022 “Deep Cycles” was internationally released on vinyl in partnership with music distributor Coast To Coast and UK webstore Mellotone.