It’s unusual to read an interview with an artist and find you like them more afterwards. Still more unusual to find the interview opens up hidden worlds to their music. But the recent Fever Ray features promoting her (she being, not the cat’s mother, but Karin Dreijer Andersson, half of Swedish electronica duo The Knife) shows did just that.
This week I’ve pretty much had Fever Ray on repeat, but I nearly didn’t get it. Nearly didn’t buy it because I just didn’t ‘get’ it.
I loved The Knife’s Silent Shout and Deep Cuts is great. So the thought of a solo album from one of the duo was very exciting, it got a great review on Pitchfork and then I listened to it on Spotify a few times, and … it did nothing for me.
Without the haunted house beats of Silent Shout, the Knife’s last album, it felt like climbing ice. I couldn’t find purchase points and nothing stuck. Then, slowly, insidiously Fever Ray’s hypnotic textures took hold.
Keep The Streets Empty For Me is the key track for me, the one that this week has wormed its way into my brain and is the first one I select, even though it’s stuck near the end of the album. For subdued song, it’s so intense, and sticks with you long after it’s finished.
Back to those interviews. “I have a problem with normal,” she told The Guardian earlier this month, adding that she was partially inspired by “the sleepless nights that come from raising a young child”.
Given that I’ve not slept properly for about six years, that really struck a chord, that continued resonating when I woke this morning after two and a half hours sleep at 1.30am and decided I may as well go downstairs and do a bit of work. That seems to have been an uncharacteristic spot of insomnia, but I ended up working through until 7am. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve seen in the over-quiet hours around 3-4am, before the dawn breaks, and watched the light unfold. (Not feeling too clever now mind, though red wine seems to help.)
So perhaps part of my reaction to the album relates to circumstances. To a desire to – musically speaking – nest, that is collect music that I’ll associate with the baby, who earlier today I watched move around at the hospital scan.