Tag Archives: Bjork


Vulnicura, 2015

And just like that, Bjork is back. She’s a monolith, isn’t she? An artist we’re accustomed to hearing little about for long stretches of time, giving her the energy and space she needs to do whatever she does next, while we (some of us, anyway) wait patiently for her next big move. That’s been the arrangement for more than 20 years, and it was supposed to be the arrangement for Vulnicura too. Then in true 2015 fashion, a disruption: the album leaked almost as soon as it was announced, release plans for March were scrapped, and the project was rushed to iTunes. In a way, the element of surprise is strangely fitting — Vulnicura is a song cycle exploring the dissolution of the singer’s relationship with artist Matthew Barney, each track an emotional milestone around the breakup. It’s clearly not a loss she was expecting, though opener “Stonemilker” (written 9 months before the split, according to liner notes) smells trouble ahead. “Show me emotional respect/I have emotional needs,” she pleads in the frankly broken, open-hearted chorus. “Find our mutual coordinate.” Her immeasurable loss has been transformed, somehow, into a listener’s gain.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Stonemilker.m4a]


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fka twigs
FKA twigs
LP1, 2014

Hype is a weird beast. In the modern hipster-music economy, ruled over by sites more prominent than this one, it almost passes for currency. It certainly has the power to create careers, though it no longer seems able to sustain them. Soundcloud is littered with the bodies of buzz artists come and gone, MP3s strewn about like bleached bones. Hype can’t even guarantee quality per se; it can only tell you when other people are talking about something you haven’t heard yet. English R&B songstress FKA twigs is in the throes of the phenomenon now. The noise has been so deafening, I was reluctant to listen when friends first started talking about her last year. Precious, Pitchfork-ready images like the one you see above didn’t help. But I’m glad I pushed play. Put simply, her music strikes me as the logical next step in female-vocal R&B, the quantum leap we’ve been anticipating for some time. Remember Volta? If Bjork and Timbaland had hit it off, that collaboration might’ve sounded like this. Or if Aaliyah were still alive today … you know the drill. If this, if that. The point is, this is what’s in front of us now, and it’s deserving. I’ve chosen “Pendulum” for its beauty and for the way it makes me feel. For the way it connects the dots between Homogenic and One in a Million. For now, the future belongs to twigs.


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