1994-2000: Honey is Cool

I may as well just come straight out and say it: someone needs to re-release all those Honey is Cool records that were made before Karin Dreijer Andersson’s Knife/Fever Ray years. I can’t tell you how many clicks I’ve discarded in the search to get my hands on the bands final album, Early Morning Are You Working, and EP without success. I don’t want to join the Discogs community, nor order straight from the jaws of Rabid, the strangely calm and inactive label that was set up by the band to release Early Morning… and the Baby Jane EP (though it has to be acknowledged that Rabid have been spewing out Knife and Fever Ray records ever since, so that title is justified).

The reason for this (as fans always know) is more a question of justice than necessity. I can see how Dreijer Andersson’s early efforts might be of minimal value to her now, considering how far she’s ventured into lonely frontier territory of her own. For a listener, however, the value of the two albums – Crazy Love, Early Morning Are You Working, and the singles and EPs – lie in the way they tie up the strands of left-of-mainstream 90s guitar pop in a way that manages to be accessible but actually quite independent. The oddly compromised sound of so many powerful 90s studio bands — including the gems as well as the dud fillers that were cranked out from the pressurized cans of studios with their overly realized guitars — could rarely materialize into something worthwhile. On the rare occasions that it did, it was powerful stuff.

Honey is Cool made 90s albums that were recorded properly AND sounded like sincere pop statements, which, if you grew up buying disappointing sophomore records by bands that received too much attention the first time round, is something to be celebrated. Instead of converting their ‘next big thing’ status in Sweden into money, Honey is Cool pressed on with their creative agenda, making a deliberate decision in the late 90s to regain control over their creative output by starting their own label. Again, Rabid was the label that released all the good stuff from The Knife and Fever Ray, so there is a happy ending to this story – but no epilogue. Those Honey is Cool albums may be unsophisticated compared to Dreijer’s later work, but they’re pretty damn good considering they were made in that old cartoon-capitalist climate of the mid 90s music industry. Granted, the albums may be available floating around the net, but it’s the context that matters. Here’s hoping that there are no actual legal reasons why they can’t be re-instated where they belong: in Dreijer & Co’s catalogue.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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