photo credit: Evan Jenkins
Fever Queen’s debut LP, The World of Fever Queen, is out today via First To Knock. Check out the album premiere on Week In Pop.
As an introduction to the LP, Eleanor explains: “I wrote most of The World of Fever Queen in 2019, which was a year full of movement and change for me. I was rearranging my life, and the record is a document of that evolution. Each song still takes me back to a powerful moment of clarity and I hope you can hear that when you listen.
The record starts off with me questioning where I’m at in life and ends with me being elated with where life has taken me. It shows the full cycle of recognizing that something is off, acknowledging a change has to be made, observing the situation from all angles, and then following through with it. I think this record represents a special slice of my life, where emotions were intense and I really had to lock in with myself and my needs and values. It sounds chaotic, but really it was one of the best years of my life thus far. I think change is exciting with the right attitude and taking risks always reaps rewards or at least makes for a good story. A few of these songs, I had written prior to 2019, but I reworked them last year to a place where they felt alive and relevant again (“Love Last,” “Night Vision,” and “Charmer”). It’s always interesting to see what songs stick with you over time, and how they give you a glimpse of a past version of yourself. After a song has had some time to aerate and diffuse, it can feel really powerful to rework, as if you’re writing with another version of yourself.”
Fever Queen is the music and moods of Chicago-based songwriter Eleanor Rose Lee. On her debut album, The World of Fever Queen, Lee conjures up stark, psychy sounds and knockout melodies that cohere into a singular, one-woman vision of love, dreams, and hesitations.
Journaling her entire life, Lee sees music as an extension of a larger project. The World of Fever Queen is a document of her life traveling and working across America. Mid-century melodies draw upon Lee’s childhood singing in choirs in the Midwest. Sparse instrumentation evokes cold nights of getting weird in Chicago’s DIY scene. The album’s surfy wash taps into the bleached energy Lee found in her days farming in Hawaii and cutting hair in California. Torch songs, like “Love Last,” are set in America’s burnt-out husk, along dark highways and desolate lake shores. Layered vocals and two cover interludes—Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry” and Lee Hazlewood’s “For One Moment”—ratchet up the atmosphere even further.
Lee prizes emotion above all else. And through her work as a songwriter and adept multi-instrumentalist, she elevates life’s emotions into a vibrant, and palpable, psychedelic world. The World of Fever Queen is Lee’s intimate journal made into sound.