If Sweden had an electronica monarchy, Karin Dreijer Andersson and her brother Olof would undoubtedly be placed upon the top thrones. The Scandinavian country has become synonymous in recent years for its electro acts, and The Knife, their acclaimed partnership, is one of the best.
Having provided guest vocals in recent years for the likes of fellow Scandos Royksopp and Belgian rockers dEUS during The Knife's hiatus (she's also popped out a few sprogs, apparently), Andersson has already dipped her toe into the non-cutlery-referencing music sphere. Those indulgences aside, however, it's unsurprising to find that her own debut project emphasises the same minimalist techniques that The Knife have utilised on past albums.
'Fever Ray' is certainly a disconcerting album; it's mystical, desolate and heavily reliant on the atmosphere that Andersson's vocals (at times gloomy and disembodied, at others needle-point sharp) create. A clever and unusual method that may be, but it also means that it's difficult to get into her headspace, and the resultant sound is simply sometimes too bleak to appreciate or relish.
In the right frame of mind for eerie peculiarities, however, you'll enjoy much of what's on offer. 'Seven' and 'I'm Not Done' are perhaps the more 'straightforward' takes on her skewed vision of pop music, but the deft integration of snappish beats, cold synths and baleful pagan-style chanting throughout, makes for an album that's fascinating, if not completely fixating.