Now Hear This (Best of 2013): The Weird, Visceral Beauty of The Knife (NSFW)

The Knife released their first album in seven years back in April, and by almost all accounts it was worth the wait. As with the duo's past three releases, it was mesmerizing and challenging in the best possible way -- an aural Lynchian acid trip.
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The Knife released their first album in seven years back in April, and by almost all accounts it was worth the wait. As with the duo's past three releases, it was mesmerizing and challenging in the best possible way -- an aural Lynchian acid trip.
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Our look back at some of the best music of the year continues, setting up our countdown of the 25 Best Singles of 2013, which begins later this week.

The best music on earth is coming out of Scandinavia right now. Robyn, The Sounds, Röyksopp, Miike Snow and these guys, The Knife, barely scratch the surface of the wonderful musical strangeness that seems to emanate from Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Maybe it's the cold or something, who knows.

The Knife released their first album in seven years back in April, and by almost all accounts it was worth the wait. As with the duo's past three releases, it was mesmerizing and challenging in the best possible way -- an aural Lynchian acid trip that seemed to trigger some kind of spontaneous synesthesia, making you actually see and feel sounds. Not surprising given that in between Knife records, frontwoman Karin Dreijer Andersson was the voice and brains behind the eerie tribal brilliance of Fever Ray, one of my favorite one-off musical side projects of the last decade.

If you haven't heard the entire Knife record, Shaking the Habitual, you really should set some time aside for it.

Here's Full of Fire.