"Marble House" by The Knife

I have been listening to this song (and the album from which is comes, Silent Shout) for about three days straight now. It’s incredible: a dour postmodern social commentary redolent of Radiohead’s “Fitter, Happier,” yet much more whimsical and melodic (not hard to be more melodic than “Fitter, Happier”). The music video is neat, and utterly typical of The Knife — which is to say that it’s utterly atypical with respect to any fixed standard and features nothing inherently germane to a surface reading of the lyrics. I discovered the song before I saw the music video, and definitely prefer the former to the latter, but it’s difficult to host audio on a blog without violating copyright laws. And the video’s worth a look-see.

I discovered The Knife a couple years ago, but never spent a lot of time with any one of their albums, though I had most of their discography in my possession. They are one of the most bizarre bands I’ve ever encountered. A brother-sister electronic act from Sweden, they’re music industry iconoclasts who are notorious for snubbing their own award-ceremonies. They do a limited number of interviews, and even then they only appear in public wearing beaked Venetian masks. Karin Elisabeth Dreijer Andersson, the female half of The Knife, also performs separately as Fever Ray. It’s difficult to tell the two acts apart, at least for me, since both Karin and her brother Olof are featured on her self-titled album. If you check out one track from Fever Ray, it’s this one.