Analogue Music | MJ Lenderman - "Knockin"
MJ Lenderman - "Knockin"

MJ Lenderman - "Knockin"

Artist: MJ Lenderman · Written by Matt Conner

Date Released

7 August, 2023



It's uncanny how one person can wield the exact same instrument as so many others—even sharing the same basic technical skills—and somehow channel something completely different than everybody else. That's how it is to listen to MJ Lenderman, whose new single "Knockin" is an ideal example of this otherworldly musical charisma.

First, here's what Lenderman says about the song: “I was spending a lot of time watching John Daly videos and came across a rendition he does of Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.’ Daly’s version includes an extra verse about golfing. My ‘Knockin’ became a staple of the MJ Lenderman & The Wind live set and it felt like a good idea to re-record it professionally.”

Lenderman's ability to captivate the listener is not immediate—at least not here—with a slow burn of a set-up laying the foundation for what will eventually become a full-throated exhale carried along by some brilliant pedal steel from Xandy Chelmis. Lyrically, it's not even a well-developed idea, but here's why Lenderman's efforts work so well. The entire song captures a scene, a snapshot, an elevation of emotion while drinking and thinking of the ways the wrung-out heart sidelines us all. "She gave me wings / And I caught blight / And I might be knock knock... knockin' on heaven's door tonight."

In the end, a short three-minute track becomes a cathartic and connective refrain that makes a believer out of anyone willing to lend an ear. That's a real gift at work—for all parties involved.

You can pre-order the new 7" featuring "Knockin" and more from Lenderman here.