Fever Ray / Fever Ray (Mute)

Fever Ray

The solo project from The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson feels like the wilderness at night: a little bit terrifying, emboldened by its darkness, sensual, and brimming with unusual noises. Largely written while she was pregnant and unable to sleep, every track retains a dreamlike quality.

I didn’t connect to The Knife much. One of my coworkers described “Silent Shout” as planetarium music (ouch), but my major obstacle was that I found Andersson’s voice too grating. How exciting then, that her debut is wholly immersive. Equal parts Björk, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Depeche Mode, Fever Ray fills these ten songs with mysterious imagery of childhood, depression, longing and boredom. The intensity lies in Andersson’s delivery, not to mention her willingness to transmogrify her vocals to sound like a spirit hovering in a landscape where tribal ritual meets witchcraft at a bog somewhere inside a computer. This one’s well worth your time.

Christian W. Smith
File under: Björk, The Knife, post-partum depression