I heard my favourite album of the year in January, just thirteen days into the 365. Released as a digital download on 13 January, my only insight into Fever Ray, Karin Dreijer Anderson’s first solo record outside of the Knife, was its stark cover – Dreijer flanked against a paranormal lanscape of decrepit huts and overgrown wilderness.
By the end of the night I’d played Fever Ray four times, each time letting the ghostly, crow-black synths and temptuous beats scurry a bit more under my skin. Each time pushing sleep’s promise a little further away in favour of another exploration of that strange, addictive wilderness.
It wasn’t until its official release in March that I found out how fitting this first meeting was. Fever Ray was created in the months around the birth of Dreijer’s second child, a time when she found herself continually exhausted. Sleep and awake literally carved up into interrupted patterns with no control. The Knife’s chilling electronics have sometimes felt like the mystery between sleep and awake, but this time Dreijer fully entered the realm, choosing the actual exhausted moments of her new parent self to document when reality and imagination tease each other.