Young Knives (brothers Henry Dartnall and The House of Lords) are releasing a third track from their forthcoming album Barbarians. ‘Society for Cutting Up Men’ is named after Valerie Solanas’ feminist political pamphlet the SCUM Manifesto. Henry says:
“I really just wanted to write a song from this position. The basic idea is that women should rise up and the man is obsolete. It sounds extreme but when I read it she is so spot on about how men work and how we have deemed certain things to represent “success” and “power”, but really it can be argued that it’s all a myth and we are free to change this if we really wanted to. So it’s an imagined female uprising where it’s not about a peaceful march, or using the traditional “male” routes to law changes etc., it’s about violently and passionately removing men from the picture. The Society for Cutting Up Men will rise to the top.”
Out on 8th July, ‘Society for Cutting Up Men’ is accompanied by a video complete with lyrics and a journey that Henry describes thus:
“We approached the video for ‘Society for Cutting Up Men’ with absolutely no plan. The only idea was that we would go shopping because there was a new shopping centre in Oxford and shopping centres are one of the many “towers” that the song possibly refers too: towers of power built by the “patriarchy”, or at least male dominated big business. Secretly we just wanted to see what it was like; filled with expectation and eager for the massive dopamine hits that a new retail experience promises. Other than that, the idea was just to capture those couple of hours inside this palace of the senses and see what came out. The f*****g jumpers were £30 each! We tried to get one in Primark but it was so close to Christmas that they were sold out. But the drug was already in our blood and we had to do it, we needed that look. £60 quid later and the video had its beautiful centrepiece. Considering that Primark was sold out, we were the only people actually wearing a Christmas jumper, which seemed counter intuitive. So when better to release a Christmas video than mid-summer, so we can peer into that alien other world of retail madness.”
‘Society for Cutting Up Men’ is available to stream / download here.
During lockdown, the band have been hosting weekly live-streams from Henry’s house, social distancing observed with The House of Lords based in the now-famous caravan on the driveway. The shows are viewable via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter:
Caravan lockdown livestream #9 here
Caravan lockdown livestream #8 here
Caravan lockdown livestream #7 here
Caravan lockdown livestream #6 here
Caravan lockdown livestream #5 here
Caravan lockdown livestream #4 here
Caravan lockdown livestream #3 here
Caravan lockdown livestream #2 here
Caravan lockdown livestream #1 here
Tours in the UK and EU that were scheduled for September onwards are uncertain due to Covid-19. However, the following two shows are currently on sale (subject to change, of course):
Friday 25th September 2020, LONDON, UK – Colours
Wednesday 16th September 2020, AMSTERDAM, NL – Indiestadt festival @ Paradiso
‘Society for Cutting Up Men’ is the third track to be released from forthcoming album Barbarians, following ‘Red Cherries’ and ‘Sheep Tick’. Barbarians will be the band’s first album in seven years, following the highly acclaimed 2013 album Sick Octave. Set for release on 4th September 2020, Barbarians was written, recorded and mixed by Young Knives in their studio near Oxford, UK. John Gray’s book Straw Dogs inspired the brothers to dial into the ultra-violent, brutal nature of human beings. Our progresses in science and knowledge have not made any of us any less barbaric: our entertainment is obsessed with it, our world is full of it. What if cruelty to others is just part of who we are? How do we live with that? Barbarians is a leap into sonic experimentation by a band who love to confuse and entertain in equal measure.
Young Knives – Barbarians – Track listing
Barbarians is available on vinyl, CD, cassette and digital, with various tantalising limited-edition options including a box set, alternative sleeve illustrated by artist Bevis Martin, pink splatter vinyl, screen prints, and ‘Freedom with a Big F’ manifesto / lyric book. The Barbarians shop is here.