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The Knife

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  • The Knife

  • The Knife

  • The Knife

  • The Knife


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

A brother-and-sister duo hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, the Knife take inspiration from vintage synth pop and forward-thinking electronic music, crafting a sound that is equally unsettling, playful, and beautiful. Olof and Karin Dreijer formed the Knife in 1999 and worked on their music in their home studios, releasing their first single, Afraid of You, in 2000 and their 2001 self-titled debut album on their own Rabid Records label. In 2003, the Knife were nominated for two Grammys, one for Best Pop Group of the Year and one for Best Pop Album for their second album, Deep Cuts. However, the Dreijers boycotted the ceremony, sending two people in gorilla costumes to protest the dominance of male acts in the music industry. They also released the Hanna Med H Soundtrack later that year.

In 2004, the Knife began work on their third album in unusual locations, including a former carbon dioxide factory and the vaults of Stockholm's Grand Church, before finishing their sessions in a more conventional studio. The following year, José González's cover of the Deep Cuts single "Heartbeats" (which was from his 2003 album Veneer) appeared in a commercial for Sony's Bravia and became a hit, earning more acclaim for the Dreijers outside of Sweden. Early in 2005, the Knife performed their first-ever live show at London's ICA, appearing with Rex the Dog (who also did a remix of González's version of "Heartbeats") and playing in front of video created for the event by artist Andreas Nilsson. His work also appeared on How I Found the Knife, a DVD/CD set that included all of the band's videos, short films, and remixes, which was released that summer.

The Knife and Nilsson teamed up again for the video for the title track of the group's third album, Silent Shout, which was released in early 2006 in Sweden and that summer in the U.S. (by Mute) and U.K. (by Brille). The Knife's darkest, most ambitious work to date, the album featured singles such as We Share Our Mother's Health, which included a mix by Trentemøller. The duo played a handful of European, Scandinavian, and North American dates in 2006, accompanied by more of Nilsson's visuals. That fall, Mute reissued The Knife and Deep Cuts.

The Knife's next project was Tomorrow, in a Year, an opera commissioned by the Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma and inspired by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of the Species. Working with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, the duo recorded the album in Berlin, Stockholm, and Copenhagen over the course of 2008 and 2009. During that time, Karin Dreijer also worked on her own project Fever Ray with producer Christoffer Berg; the self-titled debut album arrived in 2009, and Tomorrow, in a Year was released in 2010. Early in 2013, the Knife released a new song, "Full of Fire," and announced their fourth album, Shaking the Habitual. Another single, A Tooth for an Eye, arrived before the album. An unsettling 90-minute meditation on topics including politics and the environment, Shaking the Habitual was released that April. The Knife returned the following June with Shaken Up Versions, a mini-album of some of the band's songs as they performed them on the Shaking the Habitual tour.


For other uses, see Knife (disambiguation).

The Knife were a Swedish electronic music duo from Gothenburg formed in 1999. The group consisted of siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, who together also run their own record company, Rabid Records. The group gained a large international following in response to their 2003 album Deep Cuts.

The duo's first tour took place in 2006, along with the release of their critically acclaimed album Silent Shout. They have won a number of Swedish Grammis, but refuse to attend awards ceremonies. They have appeared in public wearing Venetian masks. Andersson released a solo album under the name Fever Ray in 2009, while Olof Dreijer released several EPs as Oni Ayhun in late 2009 and early 2010. The Knife disbanded in November 2014 after playing the final dates of their Shaking the Habitual Tour.

^ "The Knife Deliver Creepy Christmas Tune". Spin. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2010. ^ McRuvie, Sarah (12 June 2013). "Ten Things You Never Knew About The Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson". Clash. Retrieved 11 November 2014. ^ Phares, Heather. "The Knife". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 November 2014. Ambitious Swedish indie electronic group... 


Formed in Gothenburg in 1999, amidst the deterioration of Karin's former group Honey Is Cool, the group perhaps gained stronger international recognition when José González covered their song "Heartbeats" on his 2003 album, Veneer. The cover was used by Sony in a commercial for BRAVIA television sets, and released as a single in 2006. The group commented on this in a Dagens Nyheter article, claiming that Sony paid a large sum of money to use the song. Despite the group's anti-commercial views, they justified the transaction by citing their need for money to establish a record company.

Having never before performed live, The Knife went on tour in 2006, and after selling out shows worldwide, a DVD of the tour was announced. The DVD was released in Sweden on 8 November 2006, and is titled Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience.

On 4 August 2009, the band announced that, in collaboration with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, they would be writing an opera for the Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma. The opera, titled Tomorrow, In a Year, is based on Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. In January 2010, the band announced that they would release a studio version on 1 March.

In a September 2010 post on the official Fever Ray website, Karin stated that she and Olof "have started playing together again", hinting that new material may be on the way. On 18 April 2011, as part of a post on their website concerning discrimination against Romani people in Europe, The Knife announced that they were recording a new album to be released in 2012. In December 2012, it was confirmed that their next album would be titled Shaking the Habitual and would be released on 8 April 2013. The duo posted a teaser trailer for the album on their YouTube account with the message: "Music can be so meaningless. We had to find lust. We asked our friends and lovers to help us." The album was supported by tour dates in Europe in 2013. "Full of Fire" was released as the album's lead single on 28 January 2013, for which a short film was directed by Stockholm and Berlin-based filmmaker and visual artist Marit Östberg.

After announcing their plans to play at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2014, The Knife also announced plans to tour North America during that time period. On 21 August 2014, The Knife announced that the duo would disband following the final six dates of their Shaking the Habitual Show Tour from 31 October to 8 November 2014. In the duo's final interview, Karin told Dazed, "We don't have any obligations to continue, it should only and always be for fun."

^ "Grammisregn över Göteborg" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 24 May 2014. ^ McLean, Craig (January 2006). "Biography". theknife.net. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2010. ^ Jones, Charlie Robin (12 January 2010). "The Knife interview: "Yes!"". Dummy. Retrieved 24 January 2010. ^ Andersson, Karin Dreijer (23 September 2010). "Hi...". feverray.com. Retrieved 18 October 2010. ^ "Take action for the housing rights of Roma in Rome!". theknife.net. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011. ^ Phillips, Amy (12 December 2012). "The Knife Return With New Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 14 December 2012. ^ Minsker, Evan (14 December 2012). "The Knife Reveal Release Date, Will Tour Next Year". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 14 December 2012. ^ Martins, Chris (12 December 2012). "The Knife's New Album 'Shaking the Habitual' Due Spring 2013". Spín. Buzz Media. Retrieved 14 December 2012. ^ "Full of Fire – Single av The Knife" (in Swedish). iTunes Store (SE). Apple. Retrieved 3 February 2013. ^ Knight, David (30 January 2013). "The Knife 'Full Of Fire' by Marit Östberg". Promo News. Retrieved 3 February 2013. ^ Pelly, Jenn; Minsker, Evan (9 January 2014). "The Knife to Tour North America Surrounding Coachella". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 10 January 2014. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (21 August 2014). "The Knife Call It Quits". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 21 August 2014. ^ Denney, Alex (21 August 2014). "The Knife are no more – read their last interview". Dazed. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 

Relationship with the media[edit]

The Knife rarely cooperate with the media or the mainstream music scene. Until 2005, they did not perform live concerts. The group rarely makes public appearances; most of their promotional photos feature the members wearing masks with birds' beaks, similar to the traditional Venetian Medico Della Peste (plague doctor) masks worn during Carnival.

The Knife won the Swedish Grammis award for Pop Group of the Year in 2003, but they boycotted the ceremony by sending two representatives of the Guerrilla Girls, with the number 50 written on their costumes, as a protest against male dominance in the music industry. Their album Deep Cuts was also nominated for the best record of the year, although that award went to The Cardigans. At the Grammis awards in 2007, The Knife won in all six categories that they were nominated in: Composer of the Year, Music DVD of the Year, Producer of the Year, Pop Group of the Year, Album of the Year and Artist of the Year. Again, they did not attend the award ceremony. On another occasion, they did not come to collect the award but sent a manipulated video that muffled their voices and made them look very elderly.

Silent Shout was named the best album of 2006 by Pitchfork Media. The song "We Share Our Mothers' Health" from the album was made available for free as the iTunes Store's Single of the Week in late 2006. This song was also featured in the ABC series Ugly Betty, as well as an episode of CSI: NY. In August 2007, "Heartbeats" was featured in an episode of the HBO series Entourage. The song was later used in an episode of the HBO series Girls.

Their song "Pass This On" was used in the 2010 drama film Les amours imaginaires by Quebec director Xavier Dolan. The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. "Pass This On" was also used in the 2011 drama Elles by Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska and in the 2013 thriller Magic Magic by Chilean director Sebastián Silva, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and opens with Canadian actor Michael Cera singing along to the song. The documentary film The Jeffrey Dahmer Files used the song "Still Light" during the closing credits.

^ Foley, Jack. "The Knife – Swedish duo hoping to cut it in synth-pop world". IndieLondon. Retrieved 9 November 2009. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2006". Pitchfork Media. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2008. ^ "Entourage Music: Season 04: Episode 52 "Snow Job"". HBO. Retrieved 4 July 2008. ^ Polly, John (24 February 2011). "Movies, Music & Montreal: An Interview with "Heartbeats" Director Xavier Dolan". NewNowNext. Logo. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 


In a 2006 interview with Pitchfork Media, The Knife cited David Lynch, Aki Kaurismäki, Korean cinema, Trailer Park Boys, Donnie Darko and Doom as inspirations for their work. In addition, Karin named Sonic Youth, Kate Bush, Le Tigre and Siouxsie and the Banshees, while Olof cited techno, grime and Southern hip hop.

^ Pytlik, Mark (24 July 2006). "Interviews: The Knife". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 4 July 2011. ^ Cite error: The named reference foley was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Members' solo projects[edit]

In 2008, Karin announced that she would release a solo album under the name Fever Ray in March 2009. The eponymous album was digitally released in advance of this date. The single "If I Had a Heart" was featured in a 2011 episode of Breaking Bad and in the 2013 film Horns, is the opening theme of the Canadian-Irish historical drama television series Vikings, and is the opening of the movie Laurence Anyways by Quebec director Xavier Dolan, who also used her song "Keep the Streets Empty For Me" in his movie Les Amours Imaginaires.

Olof performs as both DJ Coolof and Oni Ayhun.


The Knife initially did not play live shows, until 8 February 2005 when they played a show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London consisting of a screening of When I Found the Knife by Andreas Nilsson and performances of "Heartbeats", "You Take My Breath Away" and "You Make Me Like Charity".

Silent Shout TourShaking The Habitual Tour^ "Live report: The Knife @ The ICA, London 02/08/05". Itsatrap. 2005-02-09. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 


^ Cite error: The named reference biography was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Studarus, Laura (1 March 2014). "The Knife Wins the Nordic Music Prize". Under the Radar. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
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