Fever Ray: “Shiver”

Reverberating through Fever Ray’s “Shiver” are four pleading words: “Just a little touch.” An urgent dispatch from the center of our touch-deprivation crisis—not a minor predicament, but an “epidemic of skin hunger,” experts say—the Radical Romantics cut is Karin Dreijer at their horniest and most desperate. Desires materialize out of their mouth formant-shifted, hyena-like, as they beckon for “needle highs” and “thick thighs” over jiggling synths. This is not a benign romance, but an encounter so voltaic, so destabilizing, it’s like a million filaments flaming up. The track’s mutant production embodies the familiar yet foreign experience of exploring someone else’s body for the first time. But “Shiver” isn’t solely animalistic and sense-driven: Amidst co-producer Olof Dreijer’s jagged drums and alarming synth bassline, Dreijer wonders, cautiously, “Can I trust you?” It’s a moment of subtlety that alludes to how contact helps us fact-check what’s real: first a graze of flesh, then a body to hold.