The Knife continues its 20th anniversary celebration, with their first-ever single, “Bird/Afraid Of You.” “Bird” can be found on The Knife’s 2001 debut self-titled album. A record that emerged more out of collaborative happenstance than a premeditated decision to make music, the recording sessions began with Karin seeking Olof’s help in bringing her song ideas to fruition. Karin, disillusioned with the format of her previous indie-rock outfit, sought to push the boundaries of conventional pop music. Olof’s penchant for dance music and a burgeoning interest in computerized music-making seemed a natural and convenient fit.
The duo experimented with samplers, an accordion, bass guitar and computer programs to realize their vision. In this manner, the debut album functions as an auditory document of the pair finding their way as a newly formed partnership. The final recordings introduced the world to the vocal manipulations, punchy beats.
Their debut lead single was initially released with a reversed tracklist that was determined in a purely alphabetical fashion. As Karin recalls, “We decided ‘Afraid of You’ should be on the A-side because it started with an A, and ‘Bird’ should be on the B-side because it started with a B.”
To commemorate the beginning of one of modern music’s most iconoclastic pop groups, The Knife today announce the availability of the “Bird / Afraid Of You” on green 7-inch vinyl complete with new anniversary artwork designed by collaborator Martin Falck. The pressing is limited to 500 copies and is available now via Rabid Records and Mute. Alongside the single’s vinyl release, the band has also shared an updated digital version that includes a new edit.
During their anniversary year, the band has been reflecting on their trajectory from humble beginnings in a barn to becoming one of the most celebrated and influential musical outfits today. Karin and Olof recently sat down with journalist Ruth Saxelby to discuss their history from “Bird / Afraid Of You” through to the release of their last album, Shaking The Habitual. After teasing snippets of this discussion throughout the anniversary campaign, it is now live in full at theknife.net.
Pre-order “Afraid of you/Bird” by The Knife HERE