wears the trousers magazine

the knife in collaboration with mt. sims & planningtorock: tomorrow, in a year (2010)

The Knife in collaboration with Mt. Sims & Planningtorock
Tomorrow, In A Year ••••½
Rabid / Brille

Just as life was formed on Earth, music was born as an unordered swarm of sounds and rhythms. Starting out very primitive and simple, its development has been complex, long and difficult. As humansʼ cultural needs evolved, so too did music. Through abstract thinking, music took on new meanings and functions; it didnʼt stay just as a medium for worshipping and prayers, it became a source of salvation in itself. The peak of its vertical complexity came with the widespread adoption of polyphony in the Renaissance era. Since then, musicians have evolved contrapunctus-led, multilayered compositions into something simpler but still sophisticated. For many, the effort to achieve complexity with a minimalism that ensure clarity and diversity is today’s subconscious modus operandi, and just like evolution, its results still push the boundaries of creativity.

The origins of Tomorrow, In A Year lie with Hotel Pro Forma, a Danish performance group who wanted to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, inventor of the theory of evolution, with an opera unlike any other. Swedish duo The Knife were their first choice as collaborators, a pair whose analytical approach to music could fairly be likened to the way in which Darwin slowly and scrutinisingly worked on his theory. The tractable nature of Karin and Olof Dreijer’s music, which ranges from ’90s Europop to minimal techno and avant-garde electronica, has long hinted that they might one day shift their attention to something even more challenging and odd. And Tomorrow, In A Year is certainly both of those things.

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30 albums you need to hear this spring (III)

part one | part two

January is a month for looking forward as well as back. So while we are in the process of revealing our top 100 albums of the 2000s, this week we’ll also be taking a look at the 30 albums we are most excited about this Spring, in release date order. The new decade is getting off to a solid start as some familiar faces return and new ones jostle for recognition.

In this third and final part, we look at new releases from Ellie Goulding, The Knife, Laura Marling, Natalie Merchant, Emma Pollock, White Hinterland, Lou Rhodes, Goldfrapp, Dum Dum Girls and The Living Sisters, which brings us up to the end of March.

With April releases on the cards from Peggy Sue, She & Him and Sally Seltmann (formerly New Buffalo), there’s plenty more to look forward to then.

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #25-1

part onepart twopart three

Here’s the fourth and final part of our albums of the decade countdown, 25 albums so fantastic they should have sold millions (and, lo, some of them did!)…

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Shannon Wright
Maps Of Tacit

[Touch & Go / Quarterstick, 2000]

Distilling everything that was good about her former band Crowsdell and her first album flightsafety, and stripping them of their twee chirpiness and indie-pop sensibilities, Shannon Wright created her finest, and darkest, work in Maps Of Tacit. A multilayered tour de force, the guitar is aggressive without being brash and the creepy, stirring piano swirls with all the innocence and foreboding of a decaying calliope; the overall effect is both intricate and cinematic. Together with some creative use of sampled sounds, dense poetic lyrics and Wright’s alternately silky and caustic vocals, it all adds up to a delightfully chilling labour of love.

Terry Mulcahy

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fever ray covers vashti bunyan on album reissue
August 26, 2009, 2:49 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , , , , ,

241008_karindreijeranderssonNick Cave and Anita Lane also get reworked

Another day, another special edition to report. This time it’s The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson who’s giving her Fever Ray alter ego a sales boost with a double-disc edition of her self-titled solo debut on October 12th. As is seemingly the habit, the reissue will feature a pair of covers – in Karin’s case a highly unlikely reworking of gossamer-voiced folkie Vashti Bunyan’s ‘Here Before’ from 2006’s homely comeback Lookaftering (a Fever Ray live favourite) and a less surprising take on Nick Cave and Anita Lane’s ‘Stranger The Kindness’. It looks like they’ll get tacked onto the end of the original album, while the bonus disc will be a DVD of the strange and startling videos for her previous singles and new one, ‘Seven’. 

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fever ray lines up third single
June 3, 2009, 2:23 am
Filed under: news, where's the gigs | Tags: , , , , ,


Short UK tour announced for July

The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson will release her third solo single as Fever Ray on July 20th to coincide with a short UK tour that takes in three solo headlining shows and the Brighton Loop, Oxegen and Latitude festivals. One of the best-loved tracks from the critically acclaimed Fever Ray album, ‘Triangle Walks’ is an obvious single in many ways and its appeal can only be broadened by the raft of remixes that come with the single, including efforts by Tiga, Spektre, James Rutledge, Tora Vinter, Ben Hoo and Allez-Allez.

The music video for the single is still in production, but if the previous efforts of Andreas Nilsson and Martin de Thurrah are anything to go by, it should be pretty special. At the helm this time is Mikel Cee Karlsson, who has collaborated with Andreas Nilsson on videos for José Gonzaléz and Bonde Do Rolê. Watch this space.

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trouser shorts: lilith fair, the gossip, the knife


Nettwerk boss Terry McBride has surprised us all by announcing on his blog that Sarah McLachlan’s groundbreaking all-female tour Lilith Fair will make a comeback in 2010 for a fourth season, 11 years since the last. Perez Hilton picked it up too, as a so-called “exclusive” (bless). That really is all the information we have at the moment; there’s no word on whether the Fair will hop over the Atlantic again like it did for one lonely little show in 1999. We’ll be following this story closely so more news when it comes. [UPDATE: from Terry’s Twitter: “lilith fair will look at doing 2 weeks in the UK/Europe in 2010” – whee!]

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The Gossip have announced five UK live dates next month ahead of the June 22nd release of their new album Music For Men. Tickets are on sale now.

10.05.09 Radio 1 Big Weekend, Swindon
27.05.09 Digital, Brighton
28.05.09 Scala, London
29.05.09 Club Academy, Manchester
30.05.09 The Arches, Glasgow 

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The Charles Darwin-inspired opera written by Swedish sibling duo The Knife, ‘Tomorrow, In A Year’ will make its stage debut at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen on September 2nd. The project sees them collaborating with Bolton-born, Berlin-based electro artist Planningtorock, German DJ Mount Sims, and Danish theatre group Hotel Pro Forma.  After a three-night run at the Royal Danish Theatre (other dates are Sept. 4, 5), ‘Tomorrow, In A Year’ will take itself off to the Geneva Festival in Switzerland (Sept. 10, 11), the European Centre For The Arts in Dresden, Germany (Oct. 15, 16), and back to Denmark for a pair of shows at the Concert Hall in Århus (Nov. 27, 28). Tickets for the Danish shows go on sale on May 11th through BILLETnet.

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Nina Persson’s A Camp will release new single ‘Love Has Left The Room’ on May 18th. The B-sides are covers of Pink Floyd’s ‘Us & Them’ and David Bowie’s ‘Boys Keep Swinging’. The band arrive in the UK for their first UK shows in eight years next week in support of the excellent Colonia.

28.04.09 Glee Club, Birmingham
29.04.09 Academy, Dublin
30.04.09 Spring & Airbrake, Belfast
02.05.09 ABC2, Glasgow
03.05.09 Cockpit, Leeds
04.05.09 Academy 3, Manchester
06.05.09 Kings College, London

FREE MP3: A Camp, ‘Love Has Left The Room’ [live, via RCRDLBL]

Fan-made video for ‘Us & Them’

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Juana Molina has contributed a new song to the soundtrack for ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ screenwriter Carlos Cuarón’s directorial debut ‘Rudo y Cursi’, which reunites ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna as two brothers who work at a banana plantation and dream of becoming football stars [trailer]. Two English- and Spanish-language covers of Cheap Trick’s ‘I Want You To Want Me’ aside, all the tracks are covers of regional Mexican songs. The soundtrack album will be released physically in June through Nacional Records, but can be snagged on iTunes from May 5th onwards (May 19th for other digital outlets). Devendra Banhart and Black Lips also feature.

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Alan Pedder

fever ray: fever ray (2009)
January 15, 2009, 4:31 pm
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , , , ,


Fever Ray
Fever Ray •••••

Even if you haven’t seen Andreas Nilsson’s fantastically creepy video for ‘If I Had A Heart’, Fever Ray‘s opening track, you’ll instantly pick up on the fact that there’s something mysterious and perhaps a little sinister taking place in Karin Dreijer Andersson’s head. Perhaps it’s the effect of the deep, droning bass line that rumbles evilly throughout the whole song, but it feels like the internal soundtrack of someone sitting on the floor in the corner of a dark, locked room with ankles clasped tightly, rocking back and forth, spitting out her private soliloquies. Dreijer’s voice is low and deep, echoing the sombre, almost tribal rhythm that sets in to your bones like a cold, slow march towards the sea, up and over the jagged edge of a cliff.

Fever Ray has been arranged with an expert hand and considerable thought, so to get the full effect it’s inadvisable to listen on shuffle or in any other order than that in which it is laid out. Right from the start, the album builds and builds towards something, an ever more familiar sound, growing ever more Knife-like. The end of each track qualifies the beginning of the next; for example, ‘When I Grow Up’ makes its entrance with similarly sombre dark tones as ‘If I Had A Heart’, with shades of Knife-ness creeping in before the end comes in the guise of familiar steel drums, blips and clicks and, of course, Dreijer’s grossly worked-over drones and bizarre, intangible lyrics. Karin Dreijer is “very good with plants”.

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