“Use My Body While It’s Still Young” has a haunting richness to it that belies the edgy electronics that may first grab your ear. Some of this is a simple function of Karijord’s vivid mezzo, with its half-creamy, half-vehement tone; just about anything she might sing is likely to be rich and haunting.
But there’s something deep in the song that moves me as well, something timeless running through its urgent, 21st-century setting. To begin with, “Use My Body…” skillfully blends electronic rhythms with what sounds like organic percussion. That always helps. Note too how the steadfast, familiar sound of an old-school organ works its way to the center of a song characterized otherwise by jittery rhythms. But, perhaps most effective of all, there is way that the musical landscape, while pulsating with inventiveness, nevertheless roots itself in, of all things, the blues. Not that I am any kind of blues fan (at all), and not that this is in any actual sense a blues song (it isn’t), but if you listen attentively you may hear what I hear in both the chord progression (unfolding in a 12-bar verse) and in the primal passion on display.
Beyond the cumulatively entrancing music, the lyrics too bear consideration. It’s not your everyday pop song that addresses the fleeting vigor of youth. Then again, Rebekka Karijord is hardly your everyday pop singer—she is, instead, a Norway-born, Sweden-based composer/performer/writer who has written music for a variety of media, including film, theater, and dance; she has worked regularly as an actor as well. Meanwhile, as a singer/songwriter, she has recorded three albums. “Use My Body While It’s Still Young” is from her second album, We Become Ourselves, which was originally released overseas in 2012. Karijord is releasing a deluxe edition of the album for the United States next month, via her own label, Control Freak Kitten Records.