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Fever Ray
Radical Romantics
Rabid Records
Catalogue Number
Release Date
March 10, 2023
  • Vinyl 1×LP


    Black vinyl

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    • + WAV / FLAC


    • Bleep end of year edition with 3 digital bonus remixes credited to your Bleep account
    • Printed Inner Sleeve
    • A2 Poster


Fever Ray’s highly anticipated third album is an examination of what humanity has been infatuated with perhaps since its very beginning, written in jitter beats like the new sparks of young love, and full-bodied chaos razed with doubt. It’s often said the Ancient Greeks had many different words for love: anywhere from four to eight, describing the romantic, sexual, and platonic. Fever Ray recognises this, and seeks to abandon such language entirely on Radical Romantics, codifying into song what feelings and dynamics we have never had any convenient labels for.

Romance as radical is a decidedly queer perspective, but also one that has the power to liberate all. Karin Dreijer takes inspirations from the likes of bell hooks’ 1999 book All About Love, one that remains at the forefront of their consciousness as they insistently gave it to band members on tour ten years ago. As such, Radical Romantics could never be a solitary affair: amidst an army of collaborators, they reunite with their brother and fellow The Knife member Olof Dreijer for the album’s first four tracks, rekindling a longstanding musical partnership while forging new ones. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails contribute to some of the darker, revenge-seeking tracks, while Portuguese producer Nídia, Bristolian multi-hyphenate Vessel, and Swedish duo Aasthma converge for the album’s global treatise on amour.

Radical Romantics is more a dissection of the heart than an ode to betrothment, far from sappy yet gooey all the same. Like those Ancient Greeks, Fever Ray splits prismatically into the different personas of human connectivity, clawing at the interpersonal that divides them and glues them together. Visually, this manifests in characters like Romance and Main, nine-to-five officer workers bogged down by capitalism and caught in a cycle of seduction, painted in exaggerated suits pulling from decades of camp, and demonstrated in the flesh with gyrating and raunchy live performances where Fever Ray commands the stage and revels in musical communion.

Sonically, these performances of gender and relationships appear in Dreijer’s vocals, pitched up and down throughout the album as they embody different emotions. On ‘What They Call Us’, they are formant filtered verse tiptoeing into the romantic fray, fraught with anxiety and thunderous heartbeats. “First, I’d like to say that I’m sorry,” Dreijer introduces us, followed by dramatic lurches and sweeps matching the thudding rhythms. Elsewhere, their voice is doubled into high pitched growls and yelps, like on the more assertive ‘New Utensils’ where they mischievously pronounce, “We bend our routine, be nice to me before you’re gone.” Wildly buzzing basslines and vuvuzela-like synths colour the militant broken rhythms, as Dreijier juxtaposes “lips” and “fists” above these sounds with a physical presence.

Amidst the razor sharp yet woozy intimacy, lute-like flutters, and the implacably tropical palettes of The Knife we also find soul baring interdependent dialogues. Dreijer muses on the microscopic motions of lovers in ‘Tapping Fingers’, and darkly marches forward into another’s arms on ‘North’ as the beat stumbles into crashing cymbals, proclaiming our preoccupation with passion is “a way to thrive”. Meanwhile, ‘Even It Out’ is a territorial descent into vengeance, and the Eurodance sugar rush of ‘Carbon Dioxide’ is made with unstable isotopes, diffusing harpsichords into multicoloured vapour and cutting emphatic strings, classic techno drums, and whimsical helium-powered voices into the track’s vigorous energy.

For Fever Ray, love and fear are not antithetical but inseparable. Perhaps then the closing ‘Bottom Of The Ocean’ is the album's most pronounced moment of fear: despite its sauntering, soft palette, its fragile vocals echo into the maw of abyssal drones. It's a completely naked removal of the album's ferocity, depicting the crushing weight of darkness under which the red thread that ties lovers together can not be seen, yet that's exactly where Fever Ray's faith is strongest.

“We said it was a love album, but there’s not really any love songs on it” In Dreijer’s truly idiosyncratic style, they have crafted a veritable manifesto on how to communicate our needs, resulting in one of the year’s most insightful commentaries on the human experience.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 What They Call Us 4:27 Buy

    What They Call Us

  2. 2 Shiver 4:35 Buy


  3. 3 New Utensils 4:17 Buy

    New Utensils

  4. 4 Kandy 4:07 Buy


  5. 5 Even It Out 3:07 Buy

    Even It Out

  6. 6 Looking For A Ghost 3:39 Buy

    Looking For A Ghost

  7. 7 Carbon Dioxide 4:51 Buy

    Carbon Dioxide

  8. 8 North 4:04 Buy


  9. 9 Tapping Fingers 3:57 Buy

    Tapping Fingers

  10. 10 Bottom Of The Ocean 7:06 Buy

    Bottom Of The Ocean

Track List

  1. What They Call Us
  2. Shiver
  3. New Utensils
  4. Kandy
  5. Even It Out
  6. Looking For A Ghost
  7. Carbon Dioxide
  8. North
  9. Tapping Fingers
  10. Bottom Of The Ocean

Fever Ray

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Rabid Records

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Electronic and Electronica

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Experimental Pop and New Wave

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Limited Editions

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