Karin Dreijer has never wanted to be placed in a box. The avant-garde provocateur behind Fever Ray (and The Knife) has made a career out of shapeshifting sonically and visually and has drawn appropriate comparisons to Björk. But Fever Ray hasn’t released any new original music since 2017’s Plunge. A live album and Plunge Remixes soon followed, but today Dreijer has officially released their first new song in five years in the cinematic and cryptic “What They Call Us”along with a video.
The song was co-produced and written alongside Dreijer’s brother, Olof, who is also Karin’s bandmate in The Knife. It has an industrial beat with a cello reverberating in the background as Dreijer seemingly addresses her hiatus and subsequent return, as Karin sings, “It’s a common misperception, this is not a band, ready for a dissection. Now mommy’s gotta work, see the land.”
The song’s video was directed by frequent collaborator Martin Falck and is an artistic treatise on the monotony of the daily grind. Falck pits Dreijer in an office setting as they become increasingly disillusioned with the experience, buried in stacks of papers and photocopying their head as they daydreams about exploring the world outside.
Fans are pumped for the return of Fever Ray to say the least, with some of the top YouTube comments on the new video saying things like, “I think it’s a perfect sound mix between the first and the second album.Thank you for this new gem, and keep feeding us with your art!” and “What the world needs right now! Welcome back Fever Ray. You have been missed.”
Watch the video for “What They Call Us” above.