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If you needed another reason not to get on Karin Dreijer’s bad side, look no further than “Even It Out.” The deliciously venomous cut from Radical Romantics, their brand new third studio album as Fever Ray, comes with a music video that ups the ante considerably. “This is for Zacharias / Who bullied my kid in high school,” Dreijer sings, their voice pulsing with an anger that’s crossed over into deranged ecstasy. “There’s no room for you / And we know where you live.” The song’s disturbing nature is belied by its ultra-catchiness, its anthemic and arena-ready instrumental, and the woo-hoos Dreijer injects into the track at key points (often after an especially maniacal lyric).
Dreijer joined Jordan Darville for this week’s episode of The FADER Interview podcast to break down the new record at large and “Even It Out” in particular. “The song is sort of a revenge,” they explained. “It’s something I had been fantasizing about, because in real life, I would never go and stab a kid.”
However fictional the child murder fantasy may, though, the song comes from a real place of regret. “I wish I had been more thorough with the principal and the teachers,” they said. “We were in meetings and meetings and meetings, talking about how to take care of this, how they were trying to solve this situation, but they never did. So it ended up that my kid had to change schools. That’s something I still feel very bad about. That’s something you feel as a parent: that you’re never doing enough.
“So this [song] is a bit like going back and trying to make things right,” they continued. “I think it’s so important to take back your self-respect when you have been wronged. It’s a very tricky thing: How do you overcome a situation like this? When will you ever feel okay about it? There has to be some punishment for a person who behaves like this, for a bully, and it didn’t really happen.”
In the new video, directed by their long-time creative partner Martin Falck, Dreijer is on a war path. The camera cuts between exterior shots of them digging a hole, burying their victim alive, and urinating on the unmarked grave, and interiors of their claustrophobic home, where they apply exaggerated makeup and chop carrots with an absurdly long kitchen knife.
“I feel very alone when making music,” Dreijer told Darville, discussing their long-running kinship with Falck. “I do collaborate with other people, but I’m the director, and I have to make the decisions. So I’m very happy when the music is finished and I can go into the visual world, because then I have Martin. It’s so fun to work with him.”
Watch the “Even It Out” video above and hear Fever Ray on The FADER Interview embedded below, at this link, or wherever you get your podcasts.