The Enduring Queerness of Karin Dreijer

The queer ensemble known as Fever Ray descended upon Los Angeles over the weekend to deliver a high femme performance led by Karin Dreijer.

Outside the Hollywood Palladium hangs a note with a request: “Kindly leave your phones & cameras in your pockets. Share this moment with us. Tall people please stand back and give space to the shorter ones. Women to the front. Love, Fever Ray.”

Fever Ray frontwoman Dreijer, 43, is half of the now-defunct Swedish experimental duo The Knife. The sounds of The Knife evoke nostalgia for a simpler time when I harbored an unawakened affinity for queerness without yet identifying as queer.

Since then, and since the pair split, Dreijer has masterfully expanded on her influential legacy with Fever Ray. It’s a legacy attested by the idyllic passion found in the audience at this live show: one look around and it’s clear that Karin is a conduit for queer women and men alike.

Dreijer has a longstanding disruptive feminist agenda that culminated with Plunge, her second album as Fever Ray. With Bunny Michael as her opening act, and a number of WOC joining Fever Ray when she took the stage, Karin is an exemplar of how to generously share the platform you’ve earned with identities more complex than your own.

Celebrating an artist living at the intersection of queerness and kink, Dazed calls Fever Ray’s latest full-length erotically-charged release Plunge, “a sex-soaked ode to non-normative desires.”

“There were a lot of straight men who loved the first (Fever Ray) album, and then I noticed they don’t like this one,” she told the magazine. “I’m very happy about that.”

See more photos from Fever Ray’s Los Angeles show below.

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