Review: Amanda Bergman’s ‘Your Hand Forever Checking on My Fever’ Is a Culmination of Life and Her Place in It

Amanda Bergman © Julia Mård
Amanda Bergman © Julia Mård
Moments in change, grief, and love mark Amanda Bergman’s return to music, and her new record ‘Your Hand Forever Checking On My Fever’ is a thoughtful rumination on the high and low tides of life.
Stream: ‘Your Hand Forever Checking on My Fever’ – Amanda Bergman

Amanda Bergman has returned with a thoughtful new record, Your Hand Forever Checking On My Fever.

The Swedish artist’s highly anticipated sophomore record follows her 2016 debut, Docks, which found phenomenal local success simply through word of mouth. Bergman’s sophomore record is a deeply moving collection of songs set to take the international world. Representing a seminal return to her founding love of music, this record speaks to fleeting instants we otherwise forget to remember and allow to pass us by. The record is truly an accomplishment in Bergman’s self-discovery as an artist, marked by rich yet understated production, with dynamic instrumentals and Bergman’s affecting vocals coming together to color hues of sands and sunset.

Since her last album, Docks, in 2016, Bergman has since completed several tours and amassed support from the likes of Bon Iver and First Aid Kit. She has also stepped away from music altogether, focusing on her sustainable farm, experiencing the loss of her father, and becoming a mother of two. From this birthed the beginnings of Your Hand Forever Checking On My Fever, a seminal project representing Bergman’s rediscovery of music, life, and the little things.

Your Hand Forever Checking On My Fever - Amanda Bergman
Your Hand Forever Checking On My Fever – Amanda Bergman

Truly homegrown and made with love, the project was partly recorded in Bergman’s farm studio (which also doubles as their CowCow office label and music venue Rockbonden) and mixed/produced by her partner, Petter Winnberg. Compartmentalizing profound gestures of love into ordinary moments, the record maintains a spatial galaxy of transcendence.

If each track represents a moment of loss, love, hardship, middling and beginning, the record is a testament to life in all forms. Crisp production and refined instrumentals are brought together by flawless arrangements, led by Bergman’s distinct vocals. It is a thoughtful music-making that you can feel, symbolizing these moments of immense feeling and change.

Written during her father’s final months, “Wild Geese, Wild Love” is a powerful opener to the record. What reads as a bittersweet goodbye to listeners is a poignant love letter, from Bergman to her father. Clean guitar tones give room for low timbres of production to fill the spaces in between. Bergman states the song is a “celebration of the wildness of unconditional love between a father and a daughter. That I felt he’d given me. Like something very ethereal and universal, like birds in the air.”

She continues on the track, “almost always in these circumstances people report on these almost magical situations appearing. Like sudden moments of clarity, deep love, gratitude, humor, forgiveness.”

Amanda Bergman © Julia Mård
Amanda Bergman © Julia Mård

Amanda Bergman © Julia Mård
Amanda Bergman © Julia Mård

On her relationship with emotional maturity, “Day 2000 Awake” is a testament to the self under motherhood. She says on the track, “trying to grow up, letting go of yourself and life as it was prior and doing so under quite strained conditions; when there’s absolutely no time for reflection and your headspace and physical presence is totally consumed by babies.”

Burgeoning synths sparkle like raindrops that scintillate up and down, sinking you into hues of blue and orange. The fuller sound of “I Love Him Til I Love Him Right” and “Offset Island” allow Bergman’s vocals to shine in opulence, while more stripped tracks still display underlying mesmerizing productions that push the track into a realm of otherworlds, wrapping up Bergman’s vocals, coated in echoes.

A truly sparkling musical accomplishment, Bergman is worth the wait every time.

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:: stream/purchase Your Hand Forever… here ::
:: connect with Amanda Bergman here ::

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Your Hand Forever Checking On My Fever - Amanda Bergman

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