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Fever Ray – S/T



This record is the first solo effort from the chick in The Knife, the Swedish electronic duo. And as I understand it, the album was written in a network of catacombs and underground canals, through use of steampunk gadgetry and the presence of chanting spirits during a cipher of synthesized seances. You have to expect cool things from a Swedish woman into wearing masks, pitchshifting, and “Trailer Park Boys.”1 I recommend supplementing this listening experience with your iTunes Visualizer (⌘T). Into weird films? Check out the videos produced for four of the songs on the album. “If I Had a Heart,” the first one, is about things I hope never to witness first-hand. An empty pool full of dead people behind a mansion prowled by feral canines? This is the type of scenario I would avoid in real life, but one I find rather enticing when portrayed successfully in an artistic medium. Scarily vacant face-painted pagans seem as right as rain in this video, yet I’d be quick to turn and walk in the other direction if they popped up on my way to the bus stop.

For all their eerie qualities, I do find Karin Andersson’s mindfields2 to be rendered quite vividly within this ten-song body of work. Although, by the time the album comes down, on a track called “Coconut,” which calls to mind a victory lap to Vangelis’ “Chariots of Fire,” I was glad to find my furniture in place and that my abilities to move and speak at normal speed had returned.

It’s funny, the places albums will take you if you allow them. Why, I’ve spent days in my study traveling to distant lands, exploring dimensions of the human soul perhaps unfamiliar to your strain. And for that you may be better off. Then, of course, there is the future. Don’t ask me about the future. I would simply like to take this opportunity to nod respectfully in Miss Andersson’s direction in acknowledgment of what I would consider to be an assumed and thereby mutual familiarity with it and other arcane destinations. This album is something she brought back and made available to iTunes users a.k.a. aspiring rocket people.