knives of spain is 21st-century trobairitz music from North Carolina based auteur Gwen Young, whose sonic terrain spans delicate songcraft to opaque experimentation.  Her sound has been described as a "specially warped version of pop music... baked in a kiln fired by ghostly spirits,” and has garnered comparisons to Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson, and Can.  A classically trained flutist, Young is self-taught on numerous other instruments, and her lush compositions are subtly informed by parallel practices in classical, avant-garde, Indian classical, Balinese gamelan, Latin jazz, and free improvisation.  knives of spain performances are electro-acoustic, merging original audio with voice and live instrumentation, including flutes, guitars, analog synths, accordion, zithers, violin, and percussion.  She has performed in DIY venues, bookstores, bars, houses, and concert halls across the US, and has opened for Cate Le Bon and Eugene Chadbourne.  She was awarded a grant from the NC Arts Council to support her vision of an unconventional singer-songwriter, and to help with the creation of her second album Telluric, which was released on the Chicago label Hairy Spider Legs.  knives of spain has been featured on podcasts and broadcasts in the US and abroad, such as Tiny Mix Tapes, Free Form Freakout KMSU, Tome to Weather Machine, Psychic Glands (Auckland), and WFMU (New York).  Telluric was one of the Tabs Out podcast’s Top 200 albums of 2016, and charted at the #3 position on Duke University’s college radio station WXDU.

 “The diversity throughout (Telluric) is completely amazing. Knives of Spain delivers a specially warped version of pop music, achieved from being baked in a kiln fired by ghostly spirits. "

- Lost in a Sea of Sound:

"Performing under the name knives of spain, Gwen Young’s sophomore EP Telluric is transcendental.  The record utilizes everything from analog synths to flutes to create a captivating, almost mystical sound. Knives’ sound calls forth comparisons to goth-rock goddesses like Kate Bush or Liz Fraser of Cocteau Twins; bestowing these comparisons feels like a rarity, but I am unable to think of someone else more deserving to coexist in this gossamer world."

- Rosie Accola, Hooligan Magazine:

music             about             shows             video

“Foghorn sounds, deep-breathing accordion, insect hissing, music-box tinklings, and clouds of shivering synth oscillations all contribute to a vibe that can either lull or put you on edge.  Fans of music that braids aspects of folk and the psychedelic avant-garde, minimalism, electronic experimentation and sonic mood painting will find things to like in Knives of Spain.”

- John Adamian, Yes! Weekly: