Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton

Knives Don't Have Your Back (Last Gang)

Phases & Stages

Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton

Knives Don't Have Your Back (Last Gang)

Joining Leslie Feist, Amy Millan, and Neko Case, Metric's Emily Haines rides the wave of Canadian female artists breaking away from their male-dominated co-ops with her debut, Knives Don't Have Your Back, a collaboration with myriad Toronto/Montreal scenemates. Yet where those aforementioned Canuck beauties sing love songs about mushrooms, whiskey, and birds, respectively, Haines reads a tome of pills, crowd surfing, and maids – the life of a girl on the road. Melancholy, piano-driven melodies like album highlight "Reading in Bed" – "With all the luck you've had, why are your songs so sad?" – balance beauty with irony. Opener "Our Hell" is fearful and breathy, as is rolling closer "Winning," but what the Soft Skeleton lacks is that sassy power Haines embodies with Metric. That fearless female has given way to a pretty girl. And pretty girls might be nice to look at, but they rarely change the world.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

Texas Platters
Drastic Measures (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, May 3, 2019

More by Darcie Stevens
Phases & Stages
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's Blitz! (Record Review)

April 3, 2009

Spotlight: The Wooden Birds
Spotlight: The Wooden Birds
9pm, the Parish

March 20, 2009

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle