This summer, The Knife will tour for the first time in 7 years. And even then, they only ever toured once in that incarnation. I missed out on tickets for the London show this May, which would have been handiest for me as I live there, but managed to get tickets to see them in Berlin instead. It appears I’m going on holidays.
Anyway, ticket-bragging aside, I want to talk about Pass This On from their 2003 album Deep Cuts. This album became popular after Jose Gonzales covered its opening track Heartbeats and it was featured in a Sony ad. Their follow-up, 2006’s Silent Shout is one of the best albums of that decade.
What I like most about Pass This On is those calypso drums. They’re so mesmerising. The song is poppier than anything else The Knife have done and it would be easy to bop along to this without getting too deeply involved. The lyrics are on the playful side too – I’m in love with your brother/ What’s his name/ I thought I’d come by to see him again. There’s no escaping a dark undertone that always exists when Karin Dreijer sings and that lurks on the edges here.
I rediscovered this song a couple of years ago through Jamie XX’s BBC Radio 1 Mix, which I played relentlessly for months and features Pass This On mixed seamlessly with Jamie’s own Far Nearer. I rediscovered lots of tracks off the back of that mix actually, most of which deserve their own posts. In fact, that mix deserves its own post.
Over the years, I’ve been a fan of other tangential Knife projects, such as Olof Dreijer’s Oni Ayhun EPs. OAR003-B is a particularly enjoyable 10 minutes of minimal techno.
This post has veered off on many tangents, but I suppose that’s the nature of writing about The Knife. Everything they touch is gold.