Fever Ray Credit: Ninja Hannah

Karin Dreijer has made a career out of music that might not seem commercially appealing. In the Knife, the electronic-pop group she founded with her brother, Olof, and as a solo artist performing and recording under the name Fever Ray, Dreijer has made a mountain of music that pulses in unfamiliar ways, that disembowels and reconfigures pop music, that is, in a word, “weird.” But her songs always find a way of hitting their mark, and despite the unconventional paths she might take, she always seeks clarity in how she chooses to express herself. “I just want very exact words,” she told Loud & Quiet last year. “To use as little as possible to say something big, to remove what’s not needed. I’m not into that, I like it when something is very clear, direct. For me, it’s facts, it’s like reading a map, which I like.” Her second album, last year’s Plunge (Rabid Records), exposes her feelings about motherhood and her queer sexuality. Its chirping melodies, screaming synths, and vocals treated till they sound both sweet and serrated elevate her words. The tiny percussion loops that scoot along through “To the Moon and Back” accentuate the feelings of desire Dreijer sings about. Mainstream society has a long way to go in terms of accepting women expressing their agency, let alone their own sexuality (and that’s not even addressing LGBTQI sexuality), but when Dreijer sings about wanting another woman it makes societal conventions weirder than any music she’s produced.   v