Friday, September 16, 2022

Björk storms back onto the scene with ‘Atopos’ – a moody, earthy and assertive lead single

Providing the first glimpse of Icelandic artist Björk’s upcoming tenth studio album, her new single ‘Atopos’ takes its title from the Greek word meaning ‘unusual’. Coming from one of the most daring and innovative musicians of our time – who has been pushing boundaries and venturing far from the beaten path her whole career – it’s hard to imagine what ‘unusual’ could even mean.

‘Atopos’ marks a clear departure from the airy flutes and fluttering electronics that graced Björk’s last full-length project, 2017’s ‘Utopia’. In an interview with The Guardian, Björk described her anticipated new album ‘Fossora’ (due to be released on 30th September) as her “mushroom album”, suggesting it would offer a more grounded and physical sound than the ethereal cloudscape of ‘Utopia’.

With brooding clarinets, deep thrumming bass notes, and hammering, industrial percussion, ‘Atopos’ is heavy and cast in stark monochrome. Its free-form irregularity brings to mind the nature-inspired compositions of Björk’s 2011 album ‘Biophilia’, while the militant, thudding beat is reminiscent of the more direct and political song-writing of tracks such as 2007’s ‘Earth Intruders’.

In her lyrics, Björk links together the physical and the sociological, evoking themes of community and symbiosis in nature as well as in human society. She calls for unity, not in the language of politics, but in that of the body: “Hope is a muscle,” she sings as the song draws to a close, “that allows us to connect”. 


Zoë White


Image: 'Atopos' Official Single Cover

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