PREMIERE: The Knocks Revisit Their Debut Single and “Make It Better”

The synth-pop duo reworks their 2008 single for its first official digital release.

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since such culturally impactful events as Vampire Weekend, Speed Racer, and the official birth of the term “dumpster fire” transpired—but more surprising still are the moments that flew mostly under the radar. While you may not know it by name, The Knocks’ 2008 breakout single “Make It Better” was everywhere ten years ago, from dorm room speakers to prime time TV.

Since then, the NYC-based synthpop duo have collaborated with everyone from Sofi Tukker to Method Man in addition to a star-studded debut LP in 2016. With their anticipated sophomore release New York Narcotic in tow, Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” / “Not That James Patterson” Patterson are finally giving “Make It Better” a proper digital release, tidied up and remastered for boutique label Neon Gold’s forthcoming ten-year anniversary comp.

With a shared knack for a DIY aesthetic, The Knocks and Neon Gold—who has since gone on to release music by Charli XCX, HAIM, and Lana Del Rey—have been close since the release of the 7″: “The Knocks were our first friends in music when we moved to NYC in 2008,” explains NG co-founder Derek Davies. “It’s been a crazy run and it feels really right to have [“Make It Better (2018 Mix)”] properly out in the world at last. Here’s to ten more years making amazing records with amazing friends.”

“Neon Gold has been family as long as The Knocks have been making records and have supported us every step of the way,” the equally grateful duo counter. “With the tenth anniversary of the label coming up, we thought it was time to finally give this song a bit of a mix facelift and an official worldwide release. We still love it all these years later and it will always remind us of some of the best times of our lives.”

New York Narcotic is out 9/28 on Neon Gold/Big Beat Records; NGX: Ten Years of Neon Gold drops the same day via Neon Gold. If you’re in New York, you can catch The Knocks at Neon Gold’s ten-year anniversary celebration on 9/29, appropriately to be held at Knockdown Center.


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