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Monthly Archives: December 2009

ALBUM – Fever Ray

ARTIST – Fever Ray

YEAR – 2009

What a headache!

I do realise my last post was supposed to be the year´s closer, but, you know how it is.  I just couldn´t help myself.

In reality, I´m bored as fuck – at work – and there´s absolutely nothing to do.  So, might as well put down some of my thoughts regarding this particular “diamond in the rough”.  Oh, this way I can kill some time, too. 

About the headache.  Yeah, well, I couldn´t help myself last night and met up with some mates – I hadn´t hit the clubs in a while.  It was fun, trust me, until, say, 8 o´clock this morning, when the alarm went off and I had to get up to come here. 

I got home at around 4ish, heavily intoxicated – some might suggest alcohol poisoning; I would play it down and say I got a little carried away.  So, the thumping inside my skull and the awful after taste of booze and, lest not we forget, the almost 4 hours of sleep, really have done me no good.  And to top it all off, it´s a miserable day outside – wet and shitty. 

But enough about my alcohol misadventures.  On to something a “wee bit” more interesting: MUSIC! 

This lady, this swedish bird, Karin Dreijer Andersson, has been on my mind for these past couple of days.  Actually, since last tuesday, when I first managed to get my hands on this lovely album

Ms Andersson and her brother, Olof Drejer, used to form another similar sounding “group”, The Knife – I´ll post something on them later on, it´s really worth it.  Her debut “solo” effort is, put simply, “off the hook”. 

I know, I just realised how cheesy that last line reads.  Oh well, let me be cheesy.  New Year´s resolution number 143, “be less cheesy”.  As if I can manage that. 

Forgive me, I´m off again, all over the place.  It´s the booze and the lack of sleep and the dehydration. 

Check out this video, or Fever Ray´s Vimeo page for all her other videos.  You can see, right off the bat, how weird and sombre and beautiful it all is.  Ms Andersson has a very dramatic and theatrical vein, both musically and visually.  Check out her live performances and interviews. 

Some of the material may be creepy and even scary; at times blunt and disturbing, but I reckon it works and is part of her act. 

The songs come off as very strong, very present and alive, almost as if they have a life of their own, inhaling and exhaling.  They seem to possess and inebriate the listener.  It´s very obscure and deep, but beautiful and enchanting.

Fever Ray, with this release, casts a spell on us all.  “When I Grow Up” is a brilliant, brilliant song – the video is pretty cool, too, although I prefer another.  “Triangle Walks”, for instance, is quite mesmerising, I love the gloom, the latent sadness and ominous aspect. 

It is, overall, a very interesting album.  I´m positive not all – in fact, very few – will adhere to my take on this recording.  I stand by my booze, I mean, by my opinion, that this is a stupendous release.  I´m just a bit bummed I didn´t get around to it sooner.  Regardless, I got it.  Happy New Fucking Year, the three of you reading this!  Cheers…

ALBUM – xx

ARTIST – The xx

YEAR – 2009 (this one that ends, shortly)

A bad case of the mondays.  Yeah, Maria, you and your band, and the movie reference.

A bad case of “I haven’t posted in forever, so, being that I’m doing absolutely nothing, I might as well give it a try”.  So, here it is, probably my last entry this year.

I recently discovered this band.  Let me just clarify something: I am completely “out of it” as to what’s hot and what’s not in the music industry.  I’m out of the loop with contemporary good music.  I learned about The xx through Pitchfork and The Guardian online newspaper.  Both had really good reviews.  Actually, just this week, The Guardian closed out the week with a final Top 10 list – the best albums of 2009.  Guess which was atop?

So, given that the album has been in my iTunes library for some time now and all the positive vibe, I decided I’d really give this outfit a try.  To my surprise, I was shocked – obviously.  It’s a brilliant, brilliant effort.  I think I remember an adjective used in describing the album, which I feel fits perfectly: minimalist.  I would add “clean”.  Now, I’m not trying to jump on any bandwagon, but I think these guys and girls have opened up a new path.

There seems to be a perfect marriage of electronic with rock, something like that, anyways.  It’s really soft and subtle, yet powerful.  It’s bittersweet, like a cold, moist, hazy day, but as desolate as it may sound, there’s a warmth to it, a comfortable sensation – calm and soothing.  It’s hypnotic, eh?!

Trust me, I think The xx will leave a good impression, and a lasting one.  I can’t get enough of this.  It makes me feel as if I’m back in the eighties, but some sort of contemporary eighties.  There’s lots of that decade’s influence mixed in to this album, along with some new and very effective ingredients.  And the quality of the production is impeccable.

Really, if you haven’t listened to this, regardless of what’s trendy and “in”, take my advice and try this on for size.  It will not disappoint, you have my word.

In closing the post, then, and probably the year, I can only say that I love getting this feeling.  This little something that makes you happy, that comes from I have no idea where.  All I know is that it doesn’t come around often.  It’s the sensation you get when you come around something as good as this album.  Does anybody know what I’m talking about?  That “I have absolutely no expectations but have just been bombarded with positive emotions” feeling?  Well, I do and I enjoy it thoroughly.  This is a real holiday treat.  Just in time, eh?!

Some songs to consider: “Intro” (drums are wicked) and “Basic Space”.  All are incredible, these are just two that stood out.  Happy Holidays, New Year’s and all the rest.  Cheers…