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Sharpened Knife

Titiyo, Paresse

541416512963D | 2022-04-22  
Whether it’s forest fires burning out of control, towns deluged by flood waters or hurricanes battering our coastlines, it should -at last- be clear that the world stands at an environmental crossroads right now. The climate crisis is something that will affect us all no matter where we live and it’s a subject tackled head on in 'Sharpened Knife', an extraordinary new collaboration between award winning Swedish singer Titiyo Jah and electronic music producer Paresse, aka Ivan Berggren, that also features a spoken contribution from British climate justice activist Dominique Palmer.

Based around a looping, dub influenced electronic track, its spacious rhythms and hypnotic bleeps provide the perfect backdrop for Titiyo’s plaintive vocals and her lament at what the future holds for future generations as we hurtle towards the ‘sharpened knife’ of the climate crisis. As the track progresses the building emergency of the moment and Titiyo’s vocals are lifted by the introduction of stirring yet mournful strings that capture the song’s powerful vision.

"I had worked with Paresse in the past and was really keen to make more music with him so I was incredibly grateful that we got to work together again on this song,” explains Titiyo. “Paresse makes music that often goes from beautiful minimalist perfection to grandiose power. You are kind of fed with small irresistible mouthfuls and you just want more, and you get that, and in the end you get everything."

Speaking for a generation who will live their entire lives under the shadow of the climate crisis, the song's message is underlined by a spoken word contribution from British student, writer and climate activist Dominique Palmer. "The climate crisis threatens everything we hold dear, our communities, the air we breathe, animals, and the beautiful planet we inhabit. It is the biggest existential crisis we face and we must act to safeguard our futures and the present for those already on the frontlines."

The resulting track sends a powerful message that faces up to the enormity of the challenge but also, importantly, puts the onus back on us to not despair and give up but to redouble our efforts to help protect the environment and keep pressure on those in power to rise up to the challenge.

One of Sweden's most acclaimed vocalists, Titiyo Jah has been a star in her native country since the release of her debut self-titled album in 1989 and has gone on to release hit singles at home, across Europe and in the US. The half-sister of Neneh Cherry, Titiyo has worked with some of Sweden's biggest names such as Peter Svensson (The Cardigans) and Kleerup, and won four prestigious Grammi awards over the course of her career.

Ivan Berggren, aka Paresse, is a Swedish music producer from Stockholm, whose tracks, on labels such as Eskimo Recordings, Magic Feet and Correspondant, draw upon dub, balearic house, Italo disco, electronica and more to produce timeless, beautiful sounds.
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