The latest from Danish artist MALMØ is icy in every sense of the word. “Frostbite: The Inevitable End, Part I” is roughly the coldest title imaginable for a song; musically, the track is a wintry mix of sparse piano, flittering falsetto, mechanically clanging percussion, and arctic wanderlust; lyrically, it’s the first of a four-part series predicting how society will collapse if humanity doesn’t stop destroying the planet; visually, its music video offers view after view of snow-covered towns and beaches, not to mention slush-like oceans.
Across the track’s four minutes, MALMØ forecasts a grim future apt for the’s song skeletal, melancholy, frigid pop form. “I’ve frozen my eggs,” she sings towards the track’s beginning, but one gets the sense that she’s not talking about the medical technique scientifically known as embryo cryopreservation. “The ice flowers/On your neck/The pale window pane/On your skin/Let the hounds of the winter in,” she continues, painting a future so cold that water freezes onto everything—and wolves and other dangerous winter animals are constantly on the prowl for food.
“Winter came too soon,” MALMØ later sings, connecting her bleak future vision with the havoc humanity is wreaking on the earth’s climate. Later, she sings of an “ocean of regret,” implying that people are quick to mourn their mistakes without doing anything to change their current and future behaviors. The image she’s chosen couldn’t be more analogous to climate change: an ocean is too vast an object to fully visualize—what we see on our shores is only a sliver of the full thing—and it’s so massive that we can’t quite figure out how to work with it.
MALMØ’s chosen metaphor also matches the music video’s slush oceans, which are some of the most uniquely disturbing sights that accompany her warning bell of a new song. When the video ends by flashing the text “PREDICTED BY MALMØ,” you can almost feel the ice melting.