Knifeworld are very pleased to announce the release of their second full-length album ‘The Unravelling’ on the 21rd July 2014 in Europe and July 22nd 2014 in the US, the band’s first for new label-home InsideOutMusic. The eight-piece band led by Kavus Torabi (Cardiacs, Gong) have been working on the long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s ‘Buried Alone: Tales of Crushing Defeat’ for a while now and July will finally see it unleashed on the world. Kavus had these words:
‘In the summer of 2008, around the time I was mixing what would become Knifeworld’s debut album, Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat, my dear friend, musical genius, and leader of Cardiacs, Tim Smith collapsed, a few hours after attending a My Bloody Valentine gig, with what appears to have been both a stroke and a heart attack in the early hours of the morning having phoned me to tell me he was coming over to stay.
Cardiacs had, for the previous five years, been my life or at least a very big part of it. Tim, however, had been my best friend for the previous fifteen or so.
Since his collapse Tim has required 24 hour care and is still unable to go home. This event and those that followed inspired what would become The Unravelling, the all too real epiphany that at a certain point life becomes a process of continual loss.
In the years following this awful episode, hopelessly grim, sad and heartbreaking events seemed to unfold all around me. Friends were diagnosed with incurable diseases, sectioned and imprisoned. Or worse. My once happy, enlightened, beautiful circle of radical, free-thinking freaks seemed to be collapsing and falling apart. I didn’t think the joy or craziness would come to an end. My previous experience of tragedy and bad luck seemed marginal in the light of what seemed to be occurring. Yet, somehow, in spite of it all everyone just gets through it. The alternative is unthinkable.
I’d never channelled ‘real stuff’ so overtly into my music before. Although previously most of my lyrics had been autobiographical, I had always put in enough obfuscation and ambiguity to render them a little more abstract. I suppose I took a dim view of being so blatant, it felt a bit like crying in public.
This time round the words seemed to write themselves and I felt loath to change them regardless of how uncomfortable they made me feel. I felt like it would be a disservice to what was happening and what I was trying to achieve.
The Unravelling has been, by a long way, the most difficult album I’ve yet made. I think that every new work has to be ‘the best thing you have ever done’. Whether or not it ends up being so, ultimately, is unimportant and is subjective anyway. What is important is that, during the conception, the writing, arranging, rehearsing and recording, you have to feel like it is.
This is something that plagued me throughout the year-long process of completing The Unravelling. A resolve that this had to be the best album I’d ever made and nothing else would do. A number of times during that year I felt so overwhelmed that I almost gave up on it. I wasn’t prepared to sign off the thing until I felt it was.
It’s hard to be objective about it, having only just finished it, of course. I mean, hey, it’s just an album, right?
In 1998 I said “If you’re not throwing yourself into the eye of the hurricane then you’re just pissing in the wind” for an NME interview with my old band The Monsoon Bassoon. I still feel that today. Now more than ever. There is just too much mediocre music, noncommittal art, pointless repetition and regurgitation of old ideas.
I hear dreary, po-faced, sexless music everywhere. Bands pretending to be from the old days. New records that sound like they were made over two decades ago saying the same thing over and over again. Comfortable music, polite music. Boring music.
I am of course aware, despite some unusual instrumentation and arrangements, that Knifeworld is essentially at its core a rock group, with things that rock groups have, like drums, singing and guitars. That sort of stuff.
I know we’re not reinventing the wheel here but when music can be about everything, can be whatever glorious, fucked up, kaleidoscopic, fantastical, bizarre shape you want, can sound like anything you’re able to think up and bully people into playing. When it can steal from everywhere and still sound unique, can be mysterious, unexplainable. When it can sound like the subconsciousness left to run wild, like the sky has cracked open and the very cogs of the Universe have been revealed, why would anyone choose to make it about so little?
The Unravelling feels like a realisation of everything Knifeworld have been working towards since our inception and everything I’ve been trying to do since I first picked up a guitar and started writing songs as a boy. To work with such receptive, understanding and inspired musicians has meant that ideas which may have previously struggled to get off the ground have grown wings and taken flight. No bullying necessary. This is Knifeworld turned up to eleven. Everything better.
I’ve been trying for years to write pop music. I think I’ve finally got there.
Most people laugh when I tell them Knifeworld is my pop group, but I truly believe it.
It’s psychedelic, dense, confusing pop music. It’s epic, terrifying, exhilarating and all over the place but its anchors are firmly in pop. Surely?
When asked what kind of music we play, more often than not, I say “Oh, you know…funny music”. If that doesn’t shut them up I usually add “You probably wouldn’t like it”.’
The band will also play 3 UK live dates to celebrate the release, they are as follows:
2nd September – The Musician, Leicester
4th September – Zephyr Lounge, Leamington Spa
5th September – The Lexington, London
Last year the band released a new video for the track ‘Don’t Land On Me’, which is to be featured on the new album.
Check the track out here: http://youtu.be/8PX5KKQqN-c