Karin Dreijer, half of the musical duo The Knife, released a solo project under the moniker Fever Ray in 2009. Finally, after 8 years, she has returned with a follow-up, Plunge, on Mute Records. It’s as intense and innovative as its scathingly cool predecessor was.
Dreijer has the ability to elevate electronica by creating sounds that are not necessarily recognizable as the usual programed synths, sequencers and drum machines. Her vocals have a gymnastic quality that leap and stretch to fit the song against drum rhythms reminiscent of Kate Bush circa The Dreaming.
There are political and social concerns expressed on Plunge, in keeping with Dreijer’s recurring themes of nonconformity, morphing, and transitioning into another state of being. There’s strong sense that Dreijer is not a fan of the Trump administration and its fascist ideology. Some of the tracks included here are “IDK About You,” which kicks it out with an exhilarating dance beat. On the song “This Country,” the lyrics demand, rightfully so, “…free abortions and clean water!” along with a catchy refrain, “This country makes it hard to fuck.” There’s some same-sex love — or sex — songs too, especially on the single “To The Moon and Back” (check out the mind-blowing video) in which Dreijer declares, “I want to run my fingers up your pussy.” There’s also a standout cinematic-sounding track, “Red Trails,” with a swirling strings accompaniment giving it a whirling quality that the listener can fully escape into.
If you loved the first Fever Ray album, you will know doubt be thrilled with its successor. It is most definitely worth the wait! 5/5
Top photo: Photography by Louise Enhörning & Creative Direction by Martin Falck
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