Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart (Rabid Records)

Steven Storrie | Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart (Rabid Records)

Jim Jarmusch is one of Karin Dreijer Andersson's influences, and it shows in this song released under her Fever Ray guise.

The opening of the song sounds like one of his films, or the part in Apocalypse Now where they reach the end of the river. It's dark and hypnotic and you don't quite know where it’s going to go next.

However, it ends up going somewhere fantastic. A brooding organ plays under a gnawing sound, like Jaws on downers, as the eerie vocals come in over the top: "This will never end/Cos I want more/If I had a heart I could love you/If I had a heart I could sing..." It sounds like someone at the end of their tether.

From nowhere comes a female vocal, ushered in on an almost shamanic wail that lifts the song into lighter, less claustrophobic waters. It takes on the echo of a Native American cry, but still with that mean looping sound maintaining the song's dark undertone.

The song feels like it could erupt at any second into a hail of rioting guitars, but brilliantly, it never does. Instead it ebbs and flows slowly along on the menacing heartbeat like sound and eventually, just ends.

Fever Ray prove that to be atmospheric or meaningful, sometimes simplicity is the key. Great stuff, now let's have the album.

Rating: 4/5