Knife Girl first caught inspiration for her new single “Never Let Go” when she was 18, waiting for her then-partner to arrive off the train. “I reminisced about moments from our earlier dates,” she explains. “Things like the bread we ate and the beers we drank on a bench by the docks. I knew that at some point, eventually, those fond memories would fade away in my mind, which made me a bit sad. Musically, I wanted this track to sound like a soft, warm memory.”
It’s a vision the artist achieved on “Never Let Go”, a peppy commemoration of mundane moments in time that so often transpire to be the most precious without us realising. It’s the latest release from Knife Girl, who under different monikers has raked in barrels of industry praise since debuting in the music scene in 2013, including Newcomer of the Year at Finland’s Indie Awards. The track follows “The Good Times Are Coming Your Way”, taken from her debut album Uniform, due September 23rd, and it’s safe to say, the song has only got us more impatient for the release.
Head below to read our chat with Knife Girl on everything from her musical origins, “Never Let Go”, and of course, her debut album…
Hey Knife Girl! How are you doing? Where are we speaking to you from?
I’m sitting at the breakfast table right now drinking coffee with my partner! I’m doing awesome.
Let’s start at the very beginning… what’s your earliest memory of music?
When I was like five years old there was a house party at my place and my mum’s band was playing. I joined in on that performance with my toy xylophone. I went hard on that thing! I slayed that performance, honestly.
What inspired you to start making your own? Do you have any particular inspirations?
On the first day of third grade, we did introductions for the class. I was wearing these cool DJ-style headphones that I’d gotten for my birthday that summer, and so in an attempt to impress the class and be really cool, I straight up lied to everyone and said that I’m a DJ. When I got home I frantically googled “How to DJ” so I wouldn’t get caught lying. Somehow I ended up trying to make dubstep in GarageBand.
Congratulations on the release of “Never Let Go”! Was there a specific experience that prompted the writing of this track?
Thank you! I wrote that song when I was 18. I was reminiscing about little things I’d done with my partner at the time. Things like drinking beers by the docks and buying bread at the bakery. I thought about how I’d eventually forget those little things. I felt a little comfort in the fact that my photographs would always stay the same.
What came first? The lyrics or the melody?
The melody came first! I almost always write my lyrics around my melodies and production.
Listening back to it now that it’s out, how do you feel?
I think it’s a fun little song! I think it does capture that feeling of fleeting memories pretty well. I’m also really grateful for the great performances from the band on this track.
How do you hope “Never Let Go” will make others feel? Is there anything you hope people can take away from it?
I hope people can throw it on at a party or a picnic or something and it can contribute to a good time for everyone! Party!
The instrumentals are incredibly unique, what does your tune-crafting process look like?
The first version of the song was a more synth-heavy demo I’d made in 2018. In 2020 I started working with the band on arranging the song for live instruments. What we recorded in the studio ended up having a more shoegaze-kinda sound. I wanted to bring the sound back to a more electronic place, so I ended up replacing a lot of the drums and guitars we recorded with synths and synth drums again. We hadn’t recorded with a click, so I had to record these new synth elements live on top of the studio recordings without any help from my DAW, which was pretty fun!
How would you define yourself as an artist?
I have no idea what I’m doing and it feels great! There isn’t any sort of cohesiveness to the stuff I release, I just do whatever feels fun at the moment.
And your debut album Uniform is just around the corner! What can you tell us about it? Can we expect a similar vibe to “Never Let Go”?
Uniform is my love letter to 80’s new wave and CBGB-rock! I experienced some of my best and worst times as I wrote this album. There are a lot of emotions about my place in this world. The name, Uniform, comes from the “uniform” we’re all expected to wear in society, being forced to conform our identities to some sort of unspoken code.
Finally, what’s next for you? Where do you hope to be in a year’s time?
I’m gonna be a pop star! I’m gonna play all the big festivals around the world and shake hands with every Billboard Top-100 artist! Probably!