knives of spain is 21st-century trobairitz music from North Carolina based auteur Gwen Young, whose sonic terrain spans delicate song craft 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 is subtly complimented  by elements from parallel practices in classical, avant grade, Indian classical, psych rock, Latin jazz, and free improv.   Since its inception in 2010, this project has been a solo venture, with Young covering all compositional, performance, and recording aspects.   knives of spain live sets are electro-acoustic performances, merging processed audio with voice and eclectic instrumentation, including flutes, classical guitar, analog synths, accordion, field recordings, violin, and a variety of miscellaneous idiophones.  In 2013, she was awarded a grant from the NC Arts Council to support her vision of an unconventional solo singer-songwriter and to help with the creation of her second album Telluric, released on Chicago label Hairy Spider Legs in October of 2016.   Telluric has been shared on Tiny Mix Tapes, several podcasts and radio shows, and charted at #3 on Duke University’s WXDU FM in Durham, NC.

 “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: http://lostseasound.blogspot.com/2017/02/knives-of-spain-telluric.html

"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: http://www.hooliganmagazine.com/music/2016/12/30/an-interview-with-knives-of-spains-gwen-young

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“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: http://yesweekly.com/greensboro-based-knives-of-spain-to-play-local-shows/