Young Knives (die Brüder Henry Dartnall und The House of Lords) haben ihr neues Album Barbarians veröffentlicht. Ihr erstes Album seit sieben Jahren, nach der 2013 gefeierten Sick Octave. Barbarians ist ein Sprung in das klangliche und thematische Experimentieren einer Band, die es gleichermaßen liebt, zu verwirren und zu unterhalten. Geschrieben, aufgenommen und gemischt von Young Knives in ihrem Studio in der Nähe von Oxford, sagt Henry über Barbarians: “ We broke down all the barriers to creativity and made the most cathartic and noisy album of our career.”
Als die Brüder sich an das Buch des Philosophen John Gray aus dem Jahr 2002 wagten, wurden sie dazu inspiriert, sich in die gewalttätige, brutale Natur des Menschen einzuwählen. Henry kommentiert:“As with every Young Knives album, me and House always need a good reason to make it. We often start with some high concept that we feel passionate about and use it like a framework to build lyrics and motifs around. As confirmed but self-aware nihilistic miserabilists we often have to dig our way out of a spiralling bleak world view that would make for a super depressing listen. This album is no different. But I think that’s the point of the records we make: how can we turn the worse aspects of humanity into something really fucking entertaining? Obviously there was a lot going on around the world at the time we were writing the record, with the rise of the alt-right and politics designed to divide us. All this fed into a sense that humans are always going to have this battle between our collective existence and the existence of the individual, some days we give and some days we take.
I read Straw Dogs after having put it off for years because of the hype. It’s something you can’t un-read. Its key point is that no matter what scientific progress we have made, what advances we have made in our understanding of how the universe works, we have not become better humans, we are no less barbaric. I just thought that it was such an undeniable point; we are obsessed with self and social improvement, but we don’t get any better as human beings. What if cruelty to others is just part of who we are? How do we live with that?”
In der Lead Single ‘Sheep Tick’ werden diese Fragen frontal angegangen. Henrys erster Text, "Cruelty, I let you back in / Im wondering why", gibt den Ton für ein beunruhigendes Zuhören an, begleitet von einem Video, das unangenehm und unerwartet ist. Henry sagt weiter: "Music videos are awful and we wanted to lean into that. The idea behind this one was to make a video that you couldn’t have pitched. We just started shooting without knowing what it was, our goal to make it as baffling and entertaining as possible. Weirdly, the great thing is that some of the video started to make sense with the song after we had finished it: House’s goblin character is the voice inside that tells you how worthless you are, and you have to make peace with him. Most of it doesn’t make any sense though."