Most people will know at least one song by The Knife, since José Gonzalez covered "Heartbeats" a couple of years ago. If you don't, The Knife are a Swedish brother/sister duo, Olof and Karin Dreijer, who make dark, synth-based pop. They tend to shun media attention (hence the masks above). Karin sang on "What Else is There" by Royksopp; the video is another example of media-avoidance. Only on the second or third viewing did I realise it's not Karin performing in the video, but model Marianne Schröder.
I bought the band's last album Deep Cuts on the strength of "Heartbeats" alone. The good songs were really good; some of it I didn't like so much. So when their latest album Silent Shout came out last year I was a bit "meh", especially since the first review I saw was possibly the only bad review given (Q Magazine gave the CD one star. The review can be summarised as "tuneless mess". Q Mag's given some dodgy reviews in its time, and this is an extreme example of them getting it wrong). But then, in July, Brille re-released a "deluxe edition" of Silent Shout. I'm a sucker for bonus discs, and have been hankering after the release for a while. i just got it yesterday and the package is pretty amazing. You get the original album, a live DVD with some amazing visuals and a CD with the audio of the DVD. Also on the DVD is every video the band have ever made plus a short film. Even if you have the Deep Cuts re-issue (which includes a bonus DVD with 5 music videos and the short film) it's worth getting for the other 15.
I've not got round to watching the whole DVD yet, but a highlight of the live audio is definitely "Heartbeats". The more glittery elements- and the steel drums- of the original have been removed, leaving a dark, shimering song which could easily fit on Silent Shout proper. Of the album tracks, I really like "Forest Families".
"Heartbeats" (live) (mp3)
"Forest Families" (mp3)
Official Knife website (link)
Thursday, 13 September 2007
How does it fille to be fab?