When Björk described her forthcoming ninth LP as her ‘Tinder album’ in a Dazed profile last month, fans could be forgiven for expecting a return to the extroversion of her early nineties output. In reality, first single ‘The Gate’ is closer to the subtlety of Vulnicura, especially early in the seven minute opus where she is backed only by strings. Her voice sounds fragile, but not in a vulnerable way, more due to the intricacy of her performance.
There’s a lot of space on the track due to the delicate nature of the instrumentation. Arca’s co-production is stellar, using the evolving high pitched frequencies that could be found on their own self-titled as punctuation, with organic sounding synth riffs and runs serve a perfect accompaniment to the light processing on Björk’s vocals. This single may not have been expected, but it’s quality shows that the tentatively titled Utopia will deliver on its November release.
Words by Jack Hollis