Brother and sister duo, The Knife, claim that their twisted, synthetic electro-melodies are nothing more than pop. This may be so, but their songs suggest a deeper, darker agenda riding along beneath their inorganic sounds. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, The Knife’s refusal to play live may seem a little pretentious, but it is not meant as any kind of statement. No, The Knife just believe that rock ‘n’ roll is outdated. Okay, so this may not have endeared them to a large majority of Room Thirteen readers who cling with all their might to rock ‘n’ roll, but the majority of these readers have probably not experimented in broadening their musical horizons; my message to you: try a little electronica, who knows? You may even like it.

"We want to react against the organic, improvised expression. We wanna do a more synthetic, weird and non-organic expression. Within the artificial expression new moods and spheres arise. Electronic music is absolutely the music of the future. Machine music is good." This is the message spread by The Knife, whose influences suggest not only a knowledge of the weird and wonderful side of music, but also diversity of genre. Sonic Youth, Kate Bush, Le Tigre and Siouxsie And The Banshees are all quoted as influences of Karin, the sister of the duo, and hard techno, UK grime and southern US rap are quoted as influence of Olof, the brother. Who would have thought these could combine to create what is being called ‘emotional electronic punk pop’?

After tasting success in Sweden with their eponymous debut album, which hit our shores earlier this year, The Knife are preparing to unleash a second installment. ‘Deep Cuts’ was recorded entirely in Karin’s basement and has been described as being ‘more clear and colourful’ than the debut album. However, it is similar to its predecessor in that it is delivered with the same political edge. When making music, The Knife claim they think a lot about its dialogue as interpreted by different people. Through this, they manage to neatly giftwrap messages in the medium of popular music, and thus inform the uninformed. On top of this, they boycotted the Swedish Grammy awards, at which they won an award, instead sending two friends to collect the award, dressed as gorillas and wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the number 50. These odd goings on were a stand against sexism in the Swedish music industry.

Still not converted? Why not listen to listen to recent single ‘Heartbeats’, the minimal grind of ‘You Make Me Like Charity’, or the 80’s pop sounds of ‘Girls Night Out’. Alternatively, watch the video streams of ‘Heartbeats’ here.