October 5, 2022

Fever Ray - "What They Call Us"

Fever Ray is back with their first new song in five years!

Plinking electronics and winding hums over thudding beats are the eerie welcome back pulses we get from Karin Dreijer on their first new tune as Fever Ray since 2017's fantastic Plunge. This is a warped track that resembles some of the more meditative and slithering tracks from the Knife's opus Silent Shout and some of the frosty beats from Fever Ray's self-titled debut. Karin's vocals are the obvious centerpiece here and their distinct deliverance coming back into the collective mix is reason enough to celebrate. This one oozes with potential, Karin's husky-voice sits in the lower-register and evokes some kind of menacing vibe that's ready to haunt you for four and a half minutes. This isn't the same leap forward that we heard when they returned with "To The Moon and Back," a track that immediately pulled you in and ushered in a more extreme and absurd, but just as exciting new era for Fever Ray. Instead, "What They Call Us" sounds like classic Karin and that is also reason enough to celebrate. On their first album, they channeled the windswept sounds of a frozen tundra and on album two, it was a shift towards raving under the Northern Lights. "What They Call Us" falls somewhere between those two sonic landscapes and builds tension as we find ourselves back on this journey. There's no explosive drop or intense build-up here, but it's the anticipation that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's more than a tease, but holds more power in what it restrains rather than dropping a track that just goes for it. There's no word on whether more is on the way or if this is just a wonderful one-off track, but Karin has never been one to follow any kind of norms, so anything is possible here. For now, however, we're given a haunting track that sublimely fits the shift in seasons. A welcome retreat back to the icy cold and darkness that Karin can create better than the rest. If winter is indeed coming, it's hard to think of a better soundtrack.

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