Sunday 19 September 2010

When I Found The Knife

Two weeks ago now, I set off on a quest to get into a band. Any band would do and I had an idea of who I was gonna look for, but I didn't really like what I heard, somehow I stumbled onto a video of The Knife I forget which song exactly but that didn't matter, all that mattered was I LOVED it. Within the hour I had listened to every track from their three albums and counted the cost, and now here we are.

Bit of backstory for them first before I jump into the tracks: The Knife are an electronic duo from Sweden, consisting of Karin Dreijer Andersson and her brother, Olof Dreijer. Olof does the tracks whilst Karin lends her vocals to them. And if you've heard What Else Is There? by Royksopp you'll have an idea of how she sounds. Onto the tracks: probably their most popular one (famously covered by José Gonzalez and used to advertise Sony's Bravia TVs) is Heartbeats. chances are if you liked José's you'll like this, after all they ARE the same song, although The Knife's is slightly more upbeat.

They rarely perform live, but when they do, it's really something else. I'd say it's up with Kraftwerk's and Daft Punk's concerts as an experience. Hell, the live audio is entitled "An Audio Visual Experience". have a look for yourself, first of all: The Audio, it's much slower than the studio one, I don't know which one I like more.

Second: The Visuals, they certainly know how to put on a good show, minimal as it may be.

I don't really have much more to add than that, so have more songs instead; This one's a nice slice of lovely electronica. The hype sticker inclded with my copy of Silent Shout has a quote on it along the lines of "...echoes of Kraftwerk, stunning", and while I do kind of roll my eyes at that description, Forest Families certainly lends itself to that comparison at least a little. Like the entirety of Silent Shout there's much more of a cold atmosphere to the electronics, and it's one I am totally in love with.

A rare instrumental this one - taken from the soundtrack they did for a swedish indie film called Hannah Med H (Literally meaning 'Hannah with a 'H' if I recall correctly). It's a bit of a shame there aren't more instruwmntals from them on the main albums, as much as I love Karin's voice, though there are plenty to go at on this soundtrack. It's in a strange valley between the delightfully indie first album and the poppier follow up Deep Cuts, even as far as various tracks from the soundtrack being included on re-issues of both those albums. The soundtrack is worth picking up even if you haven't seen the movie, The Knife's work stands alone and isn't overly 'soundtrack-y'. There's some gorgeous acoustic bits that you can expect to make an appearance soon too, in the meantime get a load of this trancy cut The Bridge

There's definitley an overall bleakness to their lyrical content, very pronounced on Silent Shout as you'll have heard above but even on the initally bubblegum-sounding Deep Cuts there's an element of that present. Take One For You for example, aside from being more downbeat than say Heartbeats, Karin's delivery is fittingly subdued. The glittery explosion of sound around 2 minutes in is lovely though backed by slightly concering lines like "Then they let us go to hunt us down again"

Definitley expect to hear more from them in the future, I'll do my best to keep it varied and to break up this slow streak we're having latley. damn life interfering with my internet self!

Pining For The Fjords,
-Claude Van Foxbat


Unknown said...

Surprised you haven't heard them before. They are an absolutely outstanding band.

Claude Van Foxbat said...

I have now, got all their albums :)
some of it sounds cheesy on first listen, but you grow to love them, like You Take My Breath Away :D

Jordan S said...

thanks for posting this! i always wondered who that female vocalist was

untra said...

And no mention of Silent Shout? Bravo.

Claude Van Foxbat said...

is that sarcasm? sorry, it's hard to pick out in text :P
In any case, while SS is a good track (and album) I didn't want to have it on along with heartbeats, cos some of the less popular tracks are fantastic :)

untra said...

yeah it was sarcasm.
Silent Shout is one of my favorite tracks by them. Especially the hard to find instrumental version- Now that is a good track

Mr. Brown said...

In Claude's defence:

We already posted Silent Shout, so he probably just didn't want to repost :p

Confucius said...

The post needs Pass this on!!! Epic track.

But more seriously, yeah great you mentioned the knife, they deserve an own post.

ArtVandelay said...

When you like The Knife (like me too ;) then you NEED TO listen to the actual project of the woman with the nice vocals. -> "Fever Ray"

Excellent Music, with smart lyrics.

greetz, ArtVandelay