“STRANGER THAN KINDNESS”
February 16, 2010
Greeting programming friends it’s Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo, trilled to continue to bring you the stunning music videos of Fever Ray. It takes an ambitious musician to attempt to cover the inimitable Nick Cave. His voice, his probing lyrics, and his charismatically gloomy aesthetic are all completely singular; he’s one of rock’s true originals, and one whose stature has grown steadily since the 1980 debut of the Birthday Party. Still, Karin Dreijer Andersson has never backed away from a challenge — and her unchallenged status as the queen of spooky Nordic synthpop makes her a uniquely qualified to channel Cave’s dark spirit. The Fever Ray cover of “Stranger Than Kindness” — a standout track from the harrowing classic Your Funeral… My Trial — doesn’t better the groundbreaking original, because that would be impossible. But we think you’ll agree that it’s every bit as gripping: a perfect union of Andersson’s haunting synthesizer textures and trippy voice effects and Cave’s unforgettable melodies.
We’re also overwhelmed by Andersson’s generosity. The “Stranger Than Kindness” cover is drawn from the newly-released deluxe edition of the Fever Ray debut — a DVD packaged with no less than five music videos. Yes, this is the fifth Fever Ray clip we’ve had the pleasure to promote in the past year — and they’ve all been innovative, distinct, and pretty damned unforgettable. Andersson’s commitment to the music video form is nearly unheard-of in 2010, and she’s been rewarded for her faith (and her hard work): several of the Fever Ray clips have been recognized as among the finest of 2009. Spin put the bizarre, hypnotic “When I Grow Up” clip on the top of their year-end round-up; Pitchfork tapped the terrifying spot that accompanied “If I Had A Heart”. Response to the album has been just as enthusiastic, and Fever Raytopped countless best-of lists made by critics and listeners alike.
So in a sense, the “Stranger Than Kindness” clip is a summary statement, a culmination of an artistic mission, and a celebration of everything Andersson and director Andreas Nilsson have achieved so far. Familiar tropes from past Fever Ray videos make repeat appearances here: the creepy, deserted house from “If I Had A Heart”; nature turned perverse and overgrown as it is in “When I Grow Up”; the streams of green light and antique lamps from the “Triangle Walks” clip; the bizarre ghost-animal costumes and makeup from the “Seven” spot. But Andersson can’t resist the temptation to tell a brand new scary story, and she’s in top form here. The interior of the chamber is populated by phantoms, the wide green band of light becomes a river of colored gas, and a specter expels a cone of smoke from his throat. As always, Fever coaxes the malevolent out of the mundane; here, under Nilsson’s lens, an ordinary flower vase becomes an object of weird power and strange fascination. Best of all is Karin Driejer Andersson’s own appearance. Deathly still, long hair partially hiding her face, and wearing bone-white makeup, she’s become the orchestrator of our weirder nightmares — and she peers back at the camera like she knows it.
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For info about Fever Ray’s previous video, “Seven” click HERE
For info about Fever Ray’s previous video, “Triangle Walks” click HERE
For info about Fever Ray’s previous video, “When I Grow Up” click HERE
For info about Fever Ray’s previous video, “If I Had A Heart” click HERE