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Robyn (SE) – “Honey”

Okay, sure: here at Nordic Spotlight, we love to expose the talents of rising, newer Nordic artists. But sometimes, a Nordic artist who has achieved global success time and time again just does something that reminds us why we constantly look for the artists that in years, maybe decades, will be among the whole world’s most revered. Call it An Event, if you will. This decade, pretty much everything Robyn, who’s Swedish but is genuinely an international pop music, has done has been An Event.

Thing is, she really hasn’t done that much this decade. She walked into the 2010s with a bang—that year’s Body Talk and its ferocious, mountainous dancefloor singles “Call Your Girlfriend,” “Hang with Me,” “Indestructible,” and especially “Dancing on My Own” made her into an icon to indie, gay, and pop communities around the world—but thereafter didn’t release any music, outside of collaborations, for eight years. None of this is to say that her 2014 and 2015 collaborative EPs with Röyksopp and La Bagatelle Magique aren’t plenty full of merit; it’s just that Body Talk cemented Robyn’s solo vision as so stupidly strong that a proper follow-up album will be craved until it arrives.

We’re finally getting that later this month. Honey arrives October 26 after what feels like a lifetime of teasing. Its title track premiered last week following a demo version that the TV show Girls used in 2017, and it displays a deeply brooding, almost nauseous intensity as compared to Body Talk‘s disco-bright optimism.

To be clear, all the dancefloors that have played Robyn’s music constantly this decade won’t hesitate to throw “Honey” in their playlists—it still goes. It’s not just the same sort of top-of-the-lungs singalong that “Dancing on My Own” might be for some. Instead, the beat Robyn has crafted for “Honey” is a minimal wave of low-octave, minor-key synth throbs and jolting kicks that at times feels more Silent Shout than Body Talk. Her smooth and ominous beat allows her vocals to glide across the music like a razor over shaving cream, and her cadence almost takes on a hip-hop flow at times, even though her voice is still like a magic carpet up to the heavens. Even if Robyn’s newer music reflects the dejection she’s worked through since Body Talk, it’s still likely to be some of the most addicting and technically insane pop music out there.

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