Fever Ray - Fever Ray - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Fever Ray - Fever Ray

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Fever Ray is Karin Dreijer Andersson, one half of The Knife, the Swedish electro duo she formed with brother Olof. For the last decade, the band has build a large cult following but only made occasional forays into the mainstream, often disguised to maintain their anonymity. This year Fever Ray changed this by being garlanded with praise by music press, broadsheets and websites alike. Wonderfully, the album comprises Andersson's most idiosyncratic, uncompromising work yet.

Reportedly the album was inspired by the birth of Andersson's first child, and one senses her child may well be a restless sleeper. Fever Ray exists in a sleep-deprived twilight eternity: 'The night was so long/ the day even longer' from 'Triangle Walls', and 'Eyes are open, mouth cries/ haven't slept since summer'. Often the lyrics resemble the somnambulist ramblings of one who hasn't had any down time for far too long: Andersson and her childhood friend used to discuss love and dishwasher tablets, she informs us on 'Seven'; on 'When I Grow Up' she sings 'I'm very good with plants' in voice like a satanically possessed choirgirl. Musically, the songs recall The Knife's last album, 2006's Silent Shout, pushing that record's 80s-tinged soundscapes, vocal trickery and percussive innovation into a more intimate, hushed terrain. Fever Ray exists in a dark world of childhood fears, taps on the window pane and shadows at the edge of the playground, of Grimm's fairy tales and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.

It may have contained nothing like a hit single but the subsequent, richly deserved, media attention it received made Andersson something 2009 sorely needed - the anti-Lady Gaga.

Best Tracks: 'When I Grow Up', 'Seven', 'Concrete Walls'

Richard Morris

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