[My Gang] Fever Ray - When I Grow Up : Reco of the Week 12 May 09


12. Mai. 2009, 18:43

Track: When I Grow Up (full track)
Artist: Fever Ray
Album: Fever Ray (30 Mar 2009)
Tags: , , , , , ,
Video: Click the pic...

YouTube Official Video

When I grow up, I want to be a forester
Run through the moss on high heels
That’s what I’ll do, throwing out boomerang
Waiting for it to come back to me

For me, this is the stuff of daydreams. The song is a record of Fever Ray's musings one sunny afternoon watching the clouds drift by after yet another night of no sleep and her mind spiralling on nothing. I imagine.

When I grow up, I want to live near the sea
Crab claws and bottles of rum
That’s what i’ll have staring at the seashell
Waiting for it to embrace me

Part way between a list of wishes and a confessional, the song is strikingly intimate, which is brought home by the voyeuristic video where we are the intruders. We are voyeurs whatever we watch but usually images are presented in a way where there's room for us. In this video, it feels like we're hiding in the bushes watching this strange girl express herself through song, dance and costume. We hope she doesn't jump into the swimming pool but half wonder what would happen to the feathers and paint if she does. The will she / won't she along with the mesmerising choreography keeps you watching. A very successful video. Directed by Martin De Thurah

I put my soul in what I do
Last night I drew a funny man
with dark eyes and a hanging tongue
It goes way bad, I never liked a sad look
From someone who wants to be loved by you

The music is eerie and has a slightly 80s darkwave edge to it, leaning on Japan, bringing some of Björk's originality and inventiveness into the mix, along with ambience of the likes of Sigur Rós. There is no emotion. It's so cold you can almost hear the ice. It's inhuman, exemplified by the edited, jerky dance in the video.

I’m very good with plants
When my friends are away
they let me keep the soil moist
On the seventh day I rest
for a minute or two
then back on my feet and cry for you oooh oh

Fever Ray is Karin Dreijer Andersson, one half of The Knife. In this debut solo album, she explores "what we find scary and what we find is beautiful". She looks at the weird mental state we find ourselves in after a prolonged bout of sleep deprivation and the feeling of isolation, in Karin's case both post-natal as well as working on her own for the first time in seven years.

You’ve got cucumbers on your eyes
Too much time spent on nothing
waiting for a moment to arise
The face in the ceiling and arms too long
I wait for him to catch me

The album is a departure from the usual fare of The Knife. There are no dance beats, in fact there is nothing to dance to here at all. It is 3am music when the world is unavailable and out of reach and the senses are heightened. It's still electronic but with a sense of unreality with the introduction of the real sounds of the occasional musical instrument. I really like Concrete Walls for its sparsity and minimalism. The slowed down distorted sounds are the sound of extreme sleep deprivation, Karin's treated voice virtually unrecognisable. Most reviewers don't seem to like it but it was the first one I loved. Seven shimmers as Keep the Streets Empty for Me is surreal with its synthesised pan-pipes. I'm Not Done might be danceable if it were faster.

Don't approach this album as something you're going to enjoy without any effort. Approach it from the side-door, where stagehands and artists come and go, where you get a glimpse behind the scenes and where masks might slip. The fantasy in the music feels like a veneer, something you want to scratch at to see what's underneath, only to find dreams.

Waiting for you to embrace me


Babs My Gang

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Admin - Stats as of today:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 42,323
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 209,634
Position in Last 7 Days: 2 / 6,438
Position in Last 6 Months: 2 / 27,573

Date Added: 19 February 2009
Views: 352,981, Ratings: 1,213, Comments: 610, Favourited: 4,570 times

Stats after 7 days: (to be added)

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  • Orange_Anubis

    It's such a compelling, sinister album - far from immediate as you say, but very rewarding. The videos have been stunning, they disturb the life out of me.

    13. Mai. 2009, 12:44
  • pecusita

    This album is absolutely brilliant! I'm with you on "Concrete Walls". It's right at the top for my favorite song but most reviews seem to point it out as a "weak moment", something I simply do not understand. Whenever I read some article pointing it out, it leads me to believe it was given a shallow listen and the reviewer just got hung up on the distorted vocals. To me, that's the most touching song in the entire album. :)

    14. Mai. 2009, 0:15
  • Babs_05

    Thanks for the comments, Orange_Anubis and pecusita. Yes, this album sounds stark on first listen but slowly reveals itself over time. I haven't seen all her videos yet, B, I'll take a look. Might get a cushion ready to hide behind... ;-) 'Concrete Walls' is outstanding. I agree, probably some of those reviewers had deadlines to meet and didn't have the luxury to take a closer listen. It's a funny thing, you can get the gist of a lot of new albums very quickly, all it takes is a quick listen of the top tracks and that's it, job done. Then you get albums like these. Animal Collective's was like this too,as was Bat For Lashes, amongst others. They stand apart from the rest. You can't be so desultory with them.

    14. Mai. 2009, 12:42
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