It starts off with an ominous humming sound before vocals, timestretched to infinity kick in with a droning hypnotic mantra “gimme more, gimme more” This is not some twisted David Lynch remix of Britney Spears, but rather the tantalizingly brooding debut single, “If I Had A Heart” from Fever Ray, released in January through Rabid Records. When genre-busting Swedish sibling duo, The Knife decided to take a break after 2 widely acclaimed albums, a worldwide hit single and multiple Swedish Grammys; the resultant downtime led not only to the birth of Karin Dreijer Andersson’s second child but a whole wealth of songs and a new stage identity, Fever Ray - “a beam of fever” according to the enigmatic Andersson.
While The Knife was politically driven, the songs on the as-yet-untitled Fever Ray album are “on a more personal level. After my 2nd child was born, I’d been very into writing about bodily experiences and I think I’m still there. It was not so much about children, but more about tiredness, when you switch to daydreaming all the time. The whole album takes place somewhere in between awake and dreams and that is something you easily transfer to when you have small kids.” If the dreamy nocturnal sonic landscapes sound epically cinematic, it’s because films were also a great inspiration for the record. “I was very influenced by the film, ‘Dead Man’ by Jim Jarmusch. It was a lot about the tempo, the slowness of the film. The tempo was slower than anything The Knife had been doing. But also ‘Miami Vice’, the parts where they just play music and drive around in boats!”
In addition to writing a Darwinist-inspired opera with her brother, Olaf; Andersson plans to tour with Fever Ray when the album drops in March. While The Knife’s stage show, immortalized on the ‘Silent Shout’ DVD was an unforgettable spectacle that incorporated lasers, masks and shadowplay, don’t expect her solo outing to be any more revealing of Andersson’s true self. “Yes, it’s much easier to hide when you’re 2 people than when you’re on your own. But I still think it’s important to separate music and work from the people behind it. I’m not interested in fronting my music like a physical person. I try to feel what kind of expression that's needed, and what feels good to wear onstage. I’m working on the character that will appear on stage, but I’m not done yet with who it is.” Whatever the end result may be, expect to be haunted for days after, just like a fever dream. Video of single "If I Had a Heart" directed by Andreas Nilsson.
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