We’re big fans of Swedish electronic duo The Knife. The band’s latest album, Shaking the Habitual, is finally out this week despite the free stream they gifted to fans earlier in the month. And if that wasn’t enough, they’ve released a new short film to go along with it called “The Interview”, featuring the band explaining the album in their own words. Shot in collaboration with director Marit Östberg (who also directed their provocative video “Full of Fire”), The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer layer explanations over natural imagery like clouds, rivers, and swimming swans. “What we do is political … the border between normal and strange is erased,” they explain in tandem.
They go on to reveal that the album’s lyrics are inspired by 1970’s protest songs from their childhood and how they asked their friends and loved ones for help. “Through our community, we felt less alone,” they said noting that they wanted to create music that was impossible to consume in a quick and easy way. The band is known for their esoteric, hard-to-define sound, and this is intentional. They’ve found that through play and experimentation, as well as using homemade instruments or traditional instruments used in nontraditional ways, often catalyzes something unimaginable.
Inspiration came from books and the “language of others” as a means of challenging themselves to shed their former selves and forge ahead as creators in a new way. “We are people trying to do something we haven’t done before … to not reproduce identities that are expected from us,” they say in the film. Östberg touches upon contemplation through multiple images of swinging on a swingset, as well as hints at transformation with the duo donning wigs and brightly colored clothes. There’s something celebratory and community-building, as well, with scenes of euphoric dance parties where people are pictured having fun and being who they are in a place devoid of judgement. The band looks at music in a similar way. “[We] think music can be a tool to create movements, a room where everything is possible.”