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The Story of The Knife
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The Knife’s self titled debut-CD was released in the beginning of February 2001. The CD got very mixed reviews, but most reviews agreed that this was something different. They mentioned a lot of names to try to describe the music, using names like Björk, Aphex Twin, Kate Bush, but nothing seemed to fit.

The first single from their first album was the song “N.Y. Hotel”, released on May 1st 2001. A video was done with Andreas Korsár’s drawings and Andreas Nilsson directing, The Knife and Nilsson would return to work together more in the future.

The Knife immediately started to work on their next album, which would get the name “Deep Cuts”. The first single from the forthcoming follow-up CD was ”Got 2 Let U” that was released on the 6th of May 2002, but the single never got off, which could be because the national Swedish pop radio, P3, never played it. It was said to be “too weird” to be played. This was followed up by an 13-minute instrumental track called “Nedsvärtning” for artist Peter Eccher’s part of the art project Artist Books – from Mind to Matter and Back Again from The Royal University College of Fine Arts (KKH). The single was never for sale, only included in the first 3000 issues of the magazine Bonnier’s Litterära Magasin (BLM) # 5-2002.

The next and second single from the forthcoming CD was a song called “Heartbeats”. The video made for the song was directed with Andreas Nilsson. The video showed five-six skateboarders skating down a street. “Heartbeats” went in to the Swedish singles chart the 2nd of January 2003 on the 60th spot and peaked at #54 two weeks later.   

Their second album, ”Deep Cuts”, was released in Sweden on the 17th of January 2003 (released on the 11th of October 2004 in the UK) and debuted at #43 on the Swedish album chart (eventually peaking at #21 and being on the chart for 18 consecutive weeks and a total of 22 weeks on the chart in 2003). It took a new swing at the charts in 2004 and went up to #11 in January, and “Deep Cuts” eventually disappeared from the charts after a total of 32 weeks there. The album featured songs that discussed as vivid subjects as women’s rights, the riot at the EU-summit meeting in Gothenburg and love. It was followed by a release of the single “You Take My Breath Away” that featured the vocals of Jenny Wilson, from First Floor Power. Both “Heartbeats” and “You Take My Breath Away” were re-released in UK by their UK label in 2004-2005 (“Heartbeats in October 2004 and “You Take My Breath Away in February 2005, but without getting to the singles chart). The “Deep Cuts”-album eventually sold gold (30 000 copies) in September 2004, which very seldom happens on small label releases in Sweden.

During the autumn of 2003 The Knife were busy writing music to the movie Hannah med H that premiered the 13th of December 2003. The story is about the 18-year old left wing vegan teenager Hannah who moves away from home and plans a life on her own. She writes poems and meets a guy named Jens who says he likes them and pretends to be a teacher. But is that all he isn’t telling Hannah? The soundtrack came in the chart in December and stayed one week at place 51 before it fell out.

At the 2003 Swedish Grammy awards The Knife were nominated for the awards for “Best Pop Group of the Year” along with “Best Record of the Year”. The latter was won by The Cardigans, but The Knife won the “Best Pop Group”-award and had sent two friends dressed out as gorillas, referring to the American feminist activist group “Gorilla Girls”, to receive the award. They wore gorilla masks and clothes that had the number 50 printed on them. This was a protest for the male domination in the music industry. They shouted out quotes on the disproportion of power between gender in the record industry The same year The Knife were the “Artist of the Week” at the international music industry website HitQuarters. The website is for unsigned artists as well as professional. This helped to get their music out to an international audience.