Fever Ray: Plunge review – a maverick’s bold, brilliant record

Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 06:00

   
 

Album:
Plunge

Artist:
Fever Ray

Label:
Rabid/Mute

Genre:
Electronic

The Swedish singer Karin Dreijer surprise released her second album as Fever Ray digitally before Christmas. This weekend physical formats of Plunge will be on record-store shelves.

Best known as one half of The Knife, alongside her brother, Olof, Dreijer has one of the most distinctive voices in electronic pop. On Plunge she explicitly explores personal and political themes. “Free abortions and clean water,” she sings icily on This Country. “Destroy nuclear. Destroy boring.”

Her music is not to all tastes – whether in The Knife or as Fever Ray, her mysteriously shrill vocals might seem either thrilling or grating – but you can never accuse Dreijer of being boring. Her anarchic principles come to the fore on Plunge, which also issues a manifesto in collaboration with the English conceptual artist Hannah Black. The result is a bold and brilliant record confirming Dreijer’s status as one of modern music’s mavericks, although it is notably low on accessible anthems in the vein of Heartbeats, by The Knife.

IDK About You, from Plunge

Her brand of experimental absurdity will light up Ballinlough Castle this June, as Dreijer will curate the opening night at Body&Soul, in a remarkable coup for the Co Westmeath festival.