Reviews by Lucila Morales, Hey, Listen! intern
Fever Ray - Plunge
It’s been 8 years since Fever Ray’s debut. With the release of Plunge, Karin Dreijer turns out a seamless and natural follow-up. The experimental instrumentation returns in full force accompanying Dreijer’s distinct pitch-shift vocals. Her sparse drum beat patterns and jarring synths sound ageless and idiosyncratic. This is the sound Dreijer previously established during her time in The Knife. Lyrically, there is a clear shift in tone. The album invites you to to indulge in intense themes. Dreijer isn’t shy about sharing her thoughts on sexuality, politics and identity. The listener is given less room for interpretation than Fever Ray’s previous record. You’re fully immersed in her blunt and captivating soundscape.
"Falling," "IDK About You." "To The Moon And Back," "Red Trails"
John Maus - Screen Memories
Start to finish, we’re bombarded with shimmery, home brewed synths. They instantly transport us to scenes of abandoned buildings where groups of young goths dance menacingly. John Maus has a comforting and startling at times baritone voice. He chimes in only sporadically and when he does it’s with dense, philosophically-tinged lyrics. They sound like he’s warning us about some ambiguous end...and then we hear “Pets” and we’re let in on the joke. He pulls it off without being forceful or kitche. For me, the most impressive part of Screen Memories is how cohesive every track is, making for a finely tuned and foreboding collection of synth-wave.
"Teenage Witch," "Touchdown," "Find Out," "Pets"