Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Fever Ray: Stranger Than Kindness

Halloween may be a week off, but Fever Ray have gotten into the spooky spirit early. When covering Nick Cave, that’s probably the right spirit to have.

The song is “Stranger Than Kindness,” a dark, disturbing glimpse into either a hotel orgy or a sordid murder (or maybe both). Originally appearing on Cave’s 1986 Your Funeral…My Trial, his fourth album with the Bad Seeds, ”Stranger Than Kindness” presents a twisted and ambiguous series of images: “Keys rain like heaven's hair / There is no home, there is no bread / We sit at the gate and scratch.”

Safe to say the video of Fever Ray’s cover gives Cave’s lyrics a run for their money in the creepy-as-hell department. A gypsy ox-woman strolls slowly through a field with her voodoo priest companion. Two boys in blackface peer from a room, all hidden but their darting eyes. Neon green lasers piece the darkness while a yellow-haired bone woman sways eerily.

Said bone woman is Fever Ray’s electro-gothic queen Karin Dreijer Andersson, formerly of the Knife. Her new project Fever Ray just released their self-titled debut in March, but Mute is already releasing the deluxe edition of the album. Hence comes the video, directed by Andersson’s longtime creative partner Andreas Nilsson.

The man behind Fever Ray’s equally demonic stage show, Nilsson has long carried a penchant for the peculiar. As one blog commenter put it, “I think if it was possible to venture inside Andreas Nilsson's head, it would be like the movie The Cell…a far less 'psychopathic-serial-killer-monster' mind yet still be pretty crazy.”

Actually, “psychopathic-serial-killer-monster” still seems apt. Check it out below (via Vanity Fair).

Verdict: 5/5 stars

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