UK group The Young Knives got their start in the mid-'00s, lumped in with the UK post-punk revival that gave us Franz Ferdinand, Futureheads, Bloc Party and The Rakes, but Henry Dartnall and brother Thomas "House of Lords" Dartnall always felt like outsiders in the scene with singles like "She's Attracted To" and "Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer)." After a seven year absence, Young Knives returned in 2020, now light years away from pretty much every band on Planet Earth, with their way, way out there and awesome Barbarians, which melds punk, metal, tribal rhythms, krautrock, Beefheart style blues rock, free jazz, experimental folk, industrial and more into a battle with our current Lord of the Flies world. It's a terrific record, unlike any you're likely to hear this year (or any time soon) and you can stream it below.
Young Knives also just made a video for Barbarians standout "Jenny Haniver," which was directed by Iman Mahdy. "The song is a reflection on the traditional view of women in relationships, and perhaps the old-fashioned male gaze and “phwoar” culture that used to be kind of accepted, or at least expected when we were younger," says Henry. "It’s also about the idea of perfection and beauty and when it gets so pushed in our society that it can become garish and ugly. As with most of our songs we are just playing with the words and not making any kind of point; it isn’t activism, it’s a reflection on the experiences of these things by two middle aged white fellas." He adds, "We were struggling when it came to the concept for the video because we make quite grotesque videos in general, and we really felt like it was time to hand it to someone else who would be able to bring out something different in the story. Iman’s illustrations and animation style has such a dream-like quality, and a real touch of something beautiful even in the weirdest of creatures, it felt like the perfect match." Watch that below.