Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “If I Had a Heart” by Fever Ray from their 2009 self-titled album on Mute.
Fever Ray is Karin Dreijer Andersson, the second half of the Swedish group The Knife. She had been developing her own personal sound and artistic feel for her new project since The Knife stopped touring in 2006 and while she was expecting her second child. After working with her brother, Olof Dreijer, for seven years, it seemed a good time for both of them to take a break. While Fever Ray definitely has striking similarities to The Knife, by comparison Andersson’s new material is gloomy, minimal, and dreamy. Fever Ray’s first single, “If I Had a Heart,” begins with a trance-inducing drone soon layered by one vocal track after another. It’s definitely not cheery synth music, but the primitive/primal sound she was looking for is definitely evident. Strangely, she credits two movies for the album’s direction: Dead Man by Jim Jarmusch and Miami Vice. Much like the artistic live shows of The Knife, Karin expects her new live show will haunt audiences, thanks to visual effects of Andreas Nilsson, a master of creepy videos including the one for today’s Song of the Day, and an ongoing collaborator with The Knife. For now, you’ll have to travel to Sweden in March or London in April if you want to see her perform live. Reportedly, though, Fever Ray plans on touring more in 2009. The self-titled debut will be released next month, on March 24, in the U.S., though you should be able to find it on import now. Learn more about Fever Ray on her website and MySpace page.
Check out the brand new video for Fever Ray’s second single, “When I Grow Up,” by Danish director Martin de Thurah: