Plunge: A fitting name for the most recent works to come from Karin Dreijer’s all too unique mind.
To say it is the stuff of nightmares, doesn’t do this album justice. As the term was all too broad for Fever Ray’s first album that debuted over eight years ago. Dark, elusive, and sometimes terrifying; Plunge does just as its name suggests. It dives deep into the workings of Dreijer’s hopes, fears, and dreams. It conquers taboo and stares our dystopian future square in its hideous mouth, just daring those jaws to take a bite. This album’s aura feels far more personal than its predecessor or any Knife album to come before. It’s more chaotic, more conflicted and surer of itself and the demands it makes. Plunge is a seemingly vivid reflection it’s creator.
Fever Ray has always been capable of creating dream realms. Her parabolic lyrics alongside those sometimes somber, almost always chaotic sounds spawn places, other dimensions, even harrowing visuals that morphe and sway with the queer creativeness of the music. The murky, sedative work of Dreijer’s first album, Fever Ray, has recast itself, allowing for Plunge to become a far more rapid, real, almost frenzied creation. It teeters on the brink of violent, in the most concerning way. It’s a stern, concerned citizen that is tired of screaming and is on the verge of an all-out brawl.
This is an album of warning and an exclamation; of protest and aggravation. It’s also extremely horny, but when we live in a country that makes is ‘hard to fuck.’ aren’t we all? This is an album that does what it’s icy predecessor could not. It breathes life, it’s vibrant; with razor sharp teeth and a clenched jaw prepared to bite.Yet even with the shattered tempos, deeper vocal delivery, and uncluttered approach to instrumentation; Plunge still stands sturdy, allowing the music to show its roots, in all their grotesque, haunting glory.
“Wanna Sip” – a throbbing, ticking time bomb of a song. Dominant and picturesque in its lyrics. Fingers clasping a glass, a pole, a throat. A wicked smile that turns into a grimace. My personal favorite.
“IDK About You,” – the most elastic, wild, electric song on the album. It is surely the star, one that seems different from all of Dreijer’s other creations. It’s a fist under the chin. It’s flirtation under long colorful eyelashes.
“A Part of Us” – is a looking glass into queer normalcy. The desire of making a family the simplicity of growing a garden. But doing all of this with the ominous black cloud prejudice looming above. “What we are/Brings the wrong kind of attention out here,” comes out in a worried, aggravated hiss. “One hand in yours and one hand in a tight fist.” It’s reminiscent of southern Appalachia. I hope and a dream for progression in one hand, and lighter fluid in the other to toss at the bigots when they come with torches.
Moral of the Story:
Karin is a wizard. One capable of conjuring worlds so shockingly similar to our own, yet so outrageous that we hardly recognize it. She stomps the concepts of equality, love, and liberation into our heads with thrilling, profound lyrics that force us not to blink. Plunge dives deep into Deijer’s sense of self and speaks of transformation and restlessness. It speaks of aging and growing; of resistance and taboo. It’s evolutionary. A study in the complexities of being uniquely human.
Check out what Fever Ray is up to here.
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