If you read my previous review of Memoria you will know I was a tad disappointed by ‘Girl’ and the video for it. The Swedish Goth darkwave queen is not afraid to mix it politically (as here) and that song was overtly fixated on sexual abuse of women, a topic I feel others have covered somewhat more convincingly.
On this occasion, ‘Canary’ is considerably more credible. This time she is focused on war, death, escape and tough decisions; all subjects that are extremely apposite and Sweden is noted for its strong and long support of Ukraine.
The canary in the cage is usually taken to symbolise those that miners took down into the tunnels because dangerous gasses would kill the birds before they adversely affected the miners.
This time she wanders the streets of Stockholm on a wretched November day, stopping off at places such as the Swedish Parliament building, a main shopping street, an anti-Iranian government demonstration, a bar (where she drinks Falcon beer – didn’t she dress as one in a previous video??) and a public memorial site, carrying a flag, but not a national one, or anything that can be associated with a particular political direction.
Rather, it carries the canary/cage image. The message seems to be that danger is everywhere and is often unseen. And it is usually caused by man himself. The insinuation is that man is evil.
Whether or not that’s the case I’m not sure exactly what we can do about it but Memoria is giving it her best shot all the same. “You will burn” she appears to sing, her eyes lit up like Lucifer’s, which won’t win her many friends down Drottninggatan. And then later what sounds like “Fire walk with us…”
Is she channelling Twin Peaks now?
Musically is where the song really scores as she returns to the territory she occupied during previous (and debut) album ‘Cravings’, with a powerful, memorable and unrelenting synth line backed up by crashing percussion. The short bridges succeed only in changing the main riff’s key. Like I said, unrelenting.
If that’s how you like our rock, your bird just flew home to its nest.
‘Canary‘ is taken from her forthcoming second album ‘From The Bones‘.
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