Fever Ray – Self-Titled Album Review

Fever Ray is the creation of Karin Dreijer Andersson, one half of the lauded Swedish act, The Knife, and she makes music to get spiritual to.

Combine the best brooding qualities of downtempo and ambient music (picture Hooverphonic meets Enya), with the mystery of ethnic music from countries like India or Iran, and you have the multi-cultural sound of Fever Ray. Andersson’s music strikes the strange balance between poppy and completely foreign, which makes it simultaneously accessible and alienating. Ultimately, the music is about as accessible as things like yoga and meditation are, and it gives off a similar vibe; it’s certainly not for everyone, and its appropriateness is highly dependent on mood.

While bands in the same vein sometimes blend into and trip over one another, Fever Ray manages to stand strong with its own distinctive sound. Imagine an early Nelly Furtado before she made the mistake of crossing into the hoochie pop world, with more organic and tribal elements, and you’re getting part of the Fever Ray picture. Add the feelings of mystery and emotion stirred up by a good Bjork track, and you’re getting closer. Nearly every song on the album has its roots in airy vocals and a combination of dynamic pounding rhythms and chime-like sounds, creating otherworldly and slightly distant soundscapes.

At their most tender moments, Fever Ray is reminiscent of abstract artistic imagery — of cavern stalactites slowly dripping water, or of native tribes basking in the moonlight. At their most powerful moments, they are a hypnotically dark force that relies heavily on repetition and rhythm. The album begins and ends with all-encompassing droning that completely envelops the senses, bringing listeners full circle through their sonic journey of Fever Ray.

When I Grow Up from Fever Ray on Vimeo.


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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oh yes
oh yes
15 years ago

amazing artist and amazing interview!!!!!! nice review~!!

Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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