Hot act to follow: Fever Ray

Is this an awesome cover or what? Actually, if you said or what, you can go away and write your own blog post.

Fever Ray had a song, The Wolf, on the soundtrack for the Red Riding Hood movie which was, arguably, the best thing about the movie. Well, the eponymous Fever Ray album (2009) is just as awesome.

This band — the solo project of Swedish musician Karin Dreijer Andersson — was made to make soundtracks.

Such atmospheric electronica, and then Dreijer Andersson’s voice beaming out from the very low to the almost childish high. It’s compelling stuff.

It’s grand, too, to hear the accent in her voice; a little like Bjork, not afraid to show her roots. Apparently, the male-sounding vocals are also hers, run through a transformer.

fever ray solo debut album

The debut album (she and her studio collaborators have been around; Karin and brother Olof form The Knife) opens with a monkish ‘If I Had A Heart’ and builds from there. The electronica underpins the tunes but leaves plenty of space; ’80s sounds feel thoroughly modern with great use of stereo effects. And the whole thing feels like a movie waiting to be written.

Some of the lyrics can be obtuse, but there are delightful vignettes of life — suburban, urban, defiance, the unity and despair of love.

There’s a little bit of slink on ‘I’m Not Done’; catchy ebb and flow on the haunting ‘Keep the Streets Empty for Me’; a Celtic dirge feel on closer, ‘Coconut’. A consistent, cohesive, captivating album.

‘Stranger Than Kindness’ is one of two bonus tracks on the deluxe release, which includes a DVD. ‘Wolf’ was released as a single in March.