The Knife - "Full Of Fire" Video

For many projects a triple LP, boasting a track spanning 19 minutes, would raise concerns about a broken editing process. For the Knife, who ended the seven-year wait for a followup to the 2006 classic Silent Shout with the news of Shaking The Habitual and its glorious nine-minute lead single “Full Of Fire,” this is just very, very good news. It’s been dubbed a short film, which at nine minutes is totally fair; thereby, it’s “A Film By Marit Östberg,” the Stockholm/Berlin-based artist who, according to the Knife, focuses “on images of queer bodies and sexualities” and “sees her work in a wider context of feminist fights and histories.” Accordingly the cast is largely female, heteronormative scenes and attire are twisted, and there are enough nipples to make it NSFW. It’s good, too. Watch it below, followed by a full director’s statement by Östberg.


Says Marit:

The film ‘Full of Fire’ started to grow as an embryo in the song´s lines ‘Who looks after my story’. Who takes care of our stories when the big history, written by straight rich white men, erase the complexity of human´s lives, desires and conditions? The film ‘Full of Fire’ consists of a network of fates, fears, cravings, longings, losses, and promises. Fates that at first sight seem isolated from each other, but if we pay attention, we can see that everything essentially moves into each other. Our lives are intertwined and our eyes on each other, our sounds and smells, mean something. Our actions create reality, we create each other. We are never faceless, not even in the most grey anonymous streets of the city. We will never stop being responsible, being extensions, of one another. We will never stop longing for each other, and for something else.

Shaking The Habitual is out 4/9 via Mute.

Comments (27)
  1. I have mixed feelings on this. Part of what made Silent Shout so transcendent was the hooks, which this song is lacking during its 10-minute run-time. Hoping it’s an outlier

    • Based on the iTunes previews (which are gone now, shocker), this is one of the more accessible songs on the album. Think more ‘Tomorrow, In a Year’ than ‘Silent Shout’. Definitely don’t go in expecting anything poppy.

      Personally I think this song is amazing.

  2. This new Knife song is fantastic. If you thought Silent Shout was spooky then this is terrifying. It’s like you’re in the mind of a serial killer.

  3. i’m like… WTF

  4. Eek, this is really disappointing. Droning with no melody. Also hope this is a one-off to perhaps lower expectations before going in for the kill.

  5. One of those instances where a music video makes the song even better.

    I guess there will be lots of disapointed Knife fans come April if this song hasn’t won them over already. I feel like this is a bigger “single” than anything on Silent Shout. That beat is instantly catchy and Olof makes enough tweaks throughout to make the 9 minute run time fly by.

    Personally, if you really liked Silent Shout, then we already got its follow-up per se with Fever Ray. I feel that was a more natural continuation from Silent Shout than Tomorrow, In A Year. But Shaking The Habitual is looking to be its own unique beast and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

    I’ve already listened to “Full of Fire” at least 20 times.

    • I’ve listened to it 6 or 7 times, and it has grown on me a bit. I’m still getting used to the fact that it might take me multiple listens before I can start to get into these songs, if I can get into them. Like undergroundspoon, I would have preferred something more hooky than this, at least from The Knife, who do hooks so well. I’m perfectly capable of liking an abrasive or not-very-melodic song if it’s done right, as in the case of songs like Portishead’s “Machine Gun”, Bjork’s “Pluto”, and Radiohead’s “Idioteque”. I can’t remember to what extent I liked these songs the first time I heard them, but I know they all grew on me with repeated listens, especially in the context of each album.

      “Full of Fire” is borderline for me, such that I’m liking it a bit more, but I doubt that I’ll ever fully love it. It just seems to be missing something, some sort of dynamic change or development in the final third. On the plus side, I’m sure I’ll find something to like on the rest of the album, hooks or not. I mean, I like Autechre’s Confield, so I’m certainly capable of liking more experimental stuff. Just have to wait and see.

      • I’m glad you mentioned Portishead’s “Machine Gun” because “Full Of Fire” was reminding me of it too. Even though it was Portishead’s first single in 13 years, I feel it was as much of a surprise as The Knife’s new single 7 years after their previous album. Plus: Third turned out to have a wide variety of songs that made “Machine Gun” stand out in its own right sitting near the end as track 8. So you’re definitely right that this song could take on a more important meaning when we hear the rest of the LP.

        As far as Full Of Fire’s context to Shaking The Habitual… I feel like the intro track is going to build up to “Full Of Fire” so that when it switches tracks, it’s going to hit even harder. But given that this is in the “single spot” (track 2) on the album, I feel this track will still end up being one of the best on the album.

        I have a sneaking suspicion that 20 minute song is going to be a big surprise, for better or worse. I recall Olof Dreijer’s 14 minute remix of NIN’s “Me, I’m Not” and thinking that it wasn’t what I was expecting.

        I suppose if we learned anything from watching The Knife go from “Deep Cuts” to “Silent Shout” is that they know how to surprise us listeners. I also think they’ll NEVER write a song as catchy as “Heartbeats” ever again. They’re just in a completely different place now.

  6. premature evaluation:

  7. I’m ready to embrace the more obtuse sound of where the new record seems to be going, but I can see why people aren’t digging this. I dig inaccessible and crazy so this is where I hoped they would go, and it’s incredibly exciting.

    • I think everyone is mistaking the words “not good” for “inaccessible.”

      There’s nothing inaccessible about this. The beat sounds like re-heated synth modulations from “Time for The Percolator” or any other house jam from forever ago. The vocals are terrible, and the lyrics make me cringe. There is going to be a lot of rationalization and self-deception among previous Knife fans when this LP drops, if this song is any indication.

  8. i really can’t believe those who say this is disappointing or they can’t embrace this. I’ve been waiting for a sound like this and personally only the Knife can deliver such abrasive, thrashing, dizzy beats. It’s dark but blended well, Karins voice is haunting but beautiful. You need to let go of Silent Shout, they did and were ready for bigger, more expansive sounds. this is exactly where they needed to go. Well done Karin and Olof.

  9. Totally agree with you , this is AWESOME, i hi follow them sens the begining and this is one of their amazing production ever, can”t wait for the Album !

  10. I was sorta bummed from the web rip the other day (vocals were muffled didn’t sound right), but the official release is just killer. Love this song. Love this band. Can’t wait for the album to drop.

  11. I really like the song, but so much of the footage in the video is absolutely boring, and doesn’t match any of the statement in the write up. If anything it makes the song seem longer.

    • When I watched it I thought it was an illustration of the “Shaking The Habitual” concept.

      So those “boring” shots represent “The Habitual” and then the exciting, unusual scenes are the “Shaking” part.

      Least that’s what I felt.

  12. Thank god this is actually staying up. This is a great song and I can’t wait to listen to it some more times.

  13. I’m actually going to say that i prefer listening to the song on it own then watching the video….I think the video certainly does the song justice, but the combination of the these two very abrasive things almost makes the experience a bit too much. However, once I listened to the song on its own, I was way more engaged. I love the direction they are heading towards, if this single is a valid indicator.

  14. This was a great way to start the day.

  15. I really like these lyrics. She has a unique way with words that tangles up the dark and extreme with thoughtfulness.

    This part from “Na Na Na” is always really striking since it’s sung with such an innocent tone + the vocal effects.

    “I’ve got mace, pepper-spray
    And some shoes that runs faster than a rapist rapes”

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