“The driving force for this album was curiosity”, vocalist Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdóttir explains. “We wanted to explore everybody’s palettes and just try everything”. Though they’ve never been a band to stick to just one sound – they may be associated with arena-folk but have always explored various genres across album tracks – working on Fever Dream came with an entirely new approach to their instruments and song-writing.

This is most evident on lead single and opening track “Alligator”. A far rockier picking than much of the band’s back catalogue, it feels newly confident. Nanna’s growling vocals coupled with the overdriven guitars are fierce, loud, exciting. It sounds solid and certain, a contrast to some of the band’s previous offerings. However, the lyrics speak to an overwhelmed generation, a feeling of chaos as she shouts, “wake me up, I’m fever dreaming!” through the chorus. The combination is startling and thrilling.

The following tracks are markedly different to “Alligator”. “Ahay” is filled with dreamy vocals and atmospheric synths, and “Róróró” shows off possibly Nanna’s most understated and stunning vocals recorded to date. Lyrically, there’s a marked growth and tender maturity to the songs, turning cliché metaphors on their heads in “Waiting For The Snow” and reflective questioning throughout. Nanna explains that through the writing process, she would “sing something and think it’s gibberish, then weeks later listen and think it’s the most spot-on thing [she’s] ever said”. The album feels this way too – upon first listen, it’s hard to make sense of exactly what you’re feeling, exactly what it all means. But it imprints itself in your brain, emotionally, and at some point it all begins to make sense.

There are points when it feels repetitive – the emotional ballads at times feel never ending, and often lack a climax. The album’s closer, “Soothsayer”, in particular seems to build and build – but never quite breaks. There is not as much variety on Fever Dream as “Alligator” had seemed to indicate, but there is a clear shift – it feels more open, musically, than ever before. There’s a confidence mixed with fragility, like a band born again. They’re not all the way there, but there’s no doubt – the climax is coming.