Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Music: Fever Ray

Karin Dreijer Andersson's biggest accomplishment isn't the music she makes- it's that mystery she conjures. With her chilly electro-pop duo the Knife. she often keeps her identity hidden behind a long-beaked black mask - the kind David Lynch used in Mulholland Drive. When the duo's album, Silent Shout, won seven Swedish Grammys two years ago, she gave her acceptance speech via video where her face was blurred out. ("The thoughts are flying around in my head - desperate thoughts," the clip said in lieu of "Thank you.")

So it's thrilling that, unlike most solo albums, her one-woman act Fever Ray doesn't try to explain the woman behind the mask behind the microphone. Instead, her self-titled disc just makes her seem more surreal - and even more imaginative - than ever before. With her voice shrouded in glacial electronics and menacing Far East melodies, the album is even creepier than Silent Shout. It's also the best thing she's ever done. So which part of Fever Ray is she proudest of? "The album," the answers, revealing nothing. Well, at least the enigma's not spoiled.

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