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The Knife are an electro pop duo from Swedenmarker that formed in 1999. They consist of siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, who together also run their own record company, Rabid Records.


Formed in 1999, the group first gained international recognition when José González covered their song "Heartbeats" on his 2003 album, Veneer. The cover was used by Sony in a commercial for Bravia television sets, and released as a single in 2006. The group commented on this in a Dagens Nyheter article, claiming that Sony paid a large sum of money to use the song. Despite the group's anti-commercial views, they justified the transaction by citing their need for money to establish a record company.

The Knife's song "We Share Our Mothers' Health" from their album Silent Shout was featured by the iTunes Store as a free song of the week in late 2006. This song was also featured in the ABC series Ugly Betty, as well as an episode of CSI: NY. In August 2007, "Heartbeats" was featured on an episode of the HBO series Entourage.

Having never before performed live, The Knife went on tour in 2006, and after selling out shows worldwide, a DVD of the tour was announced. The DVD was released in Swedenmarker on November 8, 2006, and is titled Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience.

Silent Shout was named the best album of 2006 by Pitchfork Media.

At the Grammis awards in January 2007, The Knife won in all six categories they were nominated in: Composer of the Year, Music DVD of the Year, Producer of the Year, Pop Group of the Year, Album of the Year and Artist of the Year. Again, they did not attend the award ceremony.

In an interview during the Silent Shout tour, Olof announced that the band would be going on a three-year hiatus, during which he would resume work on previously-started songs for Coolof, his solo DJ project.

Relationship with the media

One of the group's distinguishing characteristics is their unwillingness to cooperate with the media or the mainstream music scene. The group rarely makes public appearances, most of their promotional photos feature the members wearing masks, usually venetian masks and until recently, they outright refused to perform live concerts. The group has shown themselves in public wearing masks formed as birds' beaks, similar to the traditional Venetianmarker Medico Della Peste (plague doctor) masks worn during Carnival.

The Knife won a Grammis award as best pop group of the year 2003, but they boycotted the ceremony by sending two representatives of another artist group dressed as gorillas with the number 50 written on their costumes as a protest against male dominance in the music industry. Their album Deep Cuts was also nominated for a Grammis as the best record of the year 2003, although that award went to The Cardigans.


The Knife have listed David Lynch, Aki Kaurismäki, Korean cinema, Trailer Park Boys, Donnie Darko, Doom, and Black Hole as inspirations for their work.

Fever Ray

In 2008, Karin Dreijer Andersson announced that she would release a solo album under the name Fever Ray in March 2009. The album was digitally released (on iTunes and via other outlets) in advance of this.



Year Awards Category
2003 Nöjesguiden’s Stockholm Award Music Category
Swedish Hit Music Awards Best Video “Heartbeats”
Swedish National Radio P3 “Gold” Group of the Year
Grammis Pop Group of the Year
2004 Manifest Awards Pop Rock
Scandinavian Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) Song of the Year "Heartbeats"
2006 Pitchfork Media Album of the Year
Manifest Awards Dance/House Techno of the Year
Live Performers of the Year
2007 Swedish National Radio P3 “Gold” Group of the Year
Dance of the Year
Grammis Artist of the Year
Pop Album of the Year “Silent Shout”
Songwriters of the Year
Pop Producers of the Year
Music-DVD of the Year "Silent Shout: An Audiovisual Experience"
Pop Group of the Year
SAMA Song of the Year "Marble House"
Album of the Year "Silent Shout"

See also


  2. Jack Foley, "The Knife: Swedish duo hoping to cut it in synth-pop world," indieLondon,
  3. The Knife - Videography

External links

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