Strawberry Switchblade’s Rose McDowall Unveils Long-Lost New Wave Gem

Listen to “Cut With The Cake Knife,” a track meant for the second S.S. album that never was.

July 01, 2015

In 1985, Glasgow-based new wave duo Strawberry Switchblade released their eponymous debut full-length, their first and only studio record; by 1986, Rose McDowall and Jill Bryson had gone their separate ways. Some cool news, though: Glasgow's Night School Records and Brooklyn indie Sacred Bones are getting ready to release Cut With The Cake Knife, a collection of eleven songs that Rose McDowall—who in the years since Switchblade's dissolution has played with groups like Psychic TV, Coil, and Felt—recorded without Bryson at the tail end of the ’80s.


Today, FADER is debuting that record's excellent, time-warped title track, originally meant for the Strawberry Switchblade follow-up that never was. Just like on the best S.S. songs, sugary melodies and upbeat drum machines mask a flirtation with significantly darker themes ("Since Yesterday," the duo's best-known hit, is probably about suicide). The hook of "Cake Knife" is sung sweetly, but it's actually anything but: And I will take you by the hand and lead you to my sunny side/ and I will cut you with the cake knife right between the eyes. "All of these songs have strong emotive memories for me," McDowall explained to The FADER in an email. "The lyrics are very personal, but I never feel the need to explain anything; I feel like the songs are there for people."

Listen yourself via the above video, which is set to a slideshow of old, rare photos of McDowall. Cut With The Cake Knife is out September 18th.

Track listing:

1. Tibet
2. Sunboy
3. Wings Of Heaven
4. Sixty Cowboys
5. On The Sun
6. Cut With The Cake Knife
7. Crystal Nights
8. Soldier
9. So Vicious
10. Don’t Fear The Reaper (Bonus Track)
11. Crystal Days

Strawberry Switchblade’s Rose McDowall Unveils Long-Lost New Wave Gem