Union Of Knives, a Scottish electronic music trio, returned after a 14-year hiatus in 2020. The band have announced their new single There’s A River, off their upcoming 2021 album Endless From The Start, which also features Ladytron’s Helen Marnie on two singles.
An ascending track that slowly builds up each subsequent level, the arrangement is deftly handled with synthetic and acoustic elements layered throughout. A cosmic mystery is injected with guttural synths throbbing like the blaring foghorn sirens of tripods from war of the worlds…before the curtain is pulled aside to reveal a menacing string orchestra beneath. The track recalls Moon Shaped Pool-era Radiohead and Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, as its final moments take us back to dry land with the plucked harmonics ending on a hopeful note.
Speaking about the new offering, the band’s Anthony Thomaz said, “There’s a River is a song about going forward with clarity and pushing through the surrounding noise by simplifying the complex. A conversation to self.”
Songwriter Chris Gordon described the track as a “dystopian soundscape with a sprinkling of hope and a dream-like narrative.”
While many bands have tried to emulate the aural richness of Trent Reznor’s ambient work, with There’s A River, Union of Knives have achieved the task of matching the production quality yet building their own language: the vocal phrasing and conversation-to-self style become a trance, as the narrator makes their way through a dissonant waves of sound to reach clarity again.
Union of Knives are comprised of Chris Gordon, Ant Thomaz (Dope Sick Fly), and Peter Kelly (The Kills, Ladytron). Originally hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ant Thomaz arrived in Scotland via NYC after meeting Chris through production work, where their musical bonds became too compelling to ignore. Their debut album Violence and Birdsong was released in 2006.
Listen to There’s A River below: