Song of the Day: Fever Ray – Mustn’t Hurry

photo by Louise Enhörning

By Michael Tedder

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of 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 song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Mustn’t Hurry” by Fever Ray from the 2017 album Plunge on Mute Records.

Fever Ray – Mustn’t Hurry (MP3)

Karin Dreijer of Fever Ray basically lives by the credo “Mustn’t Hurry,” so clearly this standout track from her new album Plunge comes from lived experience. Suprise released last fall, Plunge is the eight-years-in-the making follow-up to Fever Ray’s self-titled debut, and the first new music from her since The Knife’s operatic 2013 release Shaking the Habitual. Dreijer clearly likes to take her time, but her portraits of all-consuming dread are so potent and singular that it would be churlish to demand she hurry it up already.

Over a beat that sounds like drops of condensation hitting a nightclub floor and a sinister synth-wisp that feels pulled from a Gary Numan-penned musical adaptation of 1984, Dreijer sings of a loneliness that’s powerful. But not powerful enough to keep her down. Using her shrill, raven-like screech, she talks of feeding the beast and needing crumbs as the production continues to drop well below zero. On the chorus she throws her lot in with the “babies pushing boundaries,” and her unique take on minimalist dark wave shows ratifies her boast.

There are no American tour dates for Fever Ray at the moment, so why not go ahead and enjoy this nightmare-inducing video for the recent single “To the Moon and Back.”

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