The Knife

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About The Knife

Swedish electro-pop duo The Knife were one of the early 21st century’s most exciting acts, crafting perfect pop songs and sprawling experimental records with daring and vigor. Siblings Karin and Olof Dreijer began making music together in 1999. Their 2001 self-titled debut featured Karin’s pitch-shifted vocals, which allowed the band to explore and critique norms of gender; in 2003, they released Deep Cuts, couching subversive lyrics in sticky hooks and danceable grooves. Eventually, that record’s longing “Heartbeats” became one of the biggest synth-pop songs of the decade, but the fame it imposed on the Dreijers—including The Knife’s first live shows—led them to outfit themselves in elaborate masks. In 2006, they released Silent Shout, which immersed itself in anti-patriarchal politics while embracing ’90s dance genres like techno and trance. Karin and Olof released solo projects in the years that followed, and they also cowrote an opera based on Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, which was released as the album Tomorrow In a Year. The Knife returned in 2013 with Shaking the Habitual, a heady deep dive into climate change, class politics, and feminism; the following year they announced their breakup.

Gothenburg, Sweden
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