You can take Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and any other Grammy-approved lady you wish, but Karin Dreijer Andersson is our pop diva. The mastermind behind Fever Ray and one-half of The Knife, Andersson is unafraid of going against convention, but her experimental nature never comes at the expense of her pop sensibility. She's forward-minded, theatrical and just might be the coolest performer to come along since Bjork. If you aren't convinced of Andersson's superiority yet, read our reasons below.
The Swedish Award Spectacle
Does anyone really want to see some properly dressed pop star become oh-so-appropriately emotional during his or her acceptance? Of course not. We like spectacles that can be discussed for weeks on end, like Andersson's acceptance growl at P3 Gold. Watch the video above, and check out the melted mask underneath her hooded top. Genius! According to the YouTube description, there as been speculation that her outfit was a statement on head-covering laws in Europe. We contend, though, that Andersson simply doesn't like people to see her face.
Again with the Face Thing
A few months ago, we covered Fever Ray live at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. Unlike her previous LA performance with The Knife, Andersson did reveal her face, however, it wasn't until after the first three songs, which is the amount of time designated for professional photographers to shoot. Hence, you will be hard pressed to find awesome close-up photos in major publications. Some of us find it difficult to believe that this could be coincidental. (Check out Timothy Norris' full photo gallery here.)
Vocal Manipulation the Right Way
Andersson's voice is often manipulated, but not in a trite Auto-Tune sort of way. Instead, she becomes different characters, occasionally blurring gender lines as she does it. She uses technology to push the singer's ability to tell a story.
It's gotten to a point where some of us will pick up anything that says “Guest vocals by Karin Dreijer Andersson” because everything she touches turns into a haunted jam. Sometimes, even the most acclaimed singers do little more than hit notes. Andersson may not have the range of some of the so-called pop divas, but she has the ability convey emotion that so many lack. She will break your heart.
Whether she's playing with The Knife or as Fever Ray, Andersson puts together a show like few others can. Think low lights with breathtaking costumes and sets that often feel more like an art installation than a rock show. This penchant for the dramatic spills over into her never-boring music videos as well.
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