Björk Announces New Album: Fossora

björk grammy

Björk has announced that she will be releasing a new album, her tenth, this fall. The revelation comes via a wide-ranging interview in The Guardian. The album will be called Fossora, “the feminine version of the Latin word for digger,” and anchored by the two “lodestones” of bass clarinet and gabber, a style of Dutch techno that came out of The Netherlands in the 90s.

Interviewer Chal Ravens describes Fossora as a reaction to 2017’s Utopia and says the album features “moments of astonishing virtuosity and bewildering complexity, and, like much of her recent music, a resistance to easy melody.”

The new album is, in a way, a product of the COVID and the space and time that lockdown gave Björk to explore and develop new songs and sounds. But it’s also reflective of “a transitional time,” in the singer’s life, says Ravens, with songs that in one instance, honour the passing of her mother and in another, serve as a kind of farewell to her youngest child, Ísadóra, who recently moved out of her home. (Both Ísadóra and Björk’s son Sindri provide backing vocals on that track, called “Her Mother’s House.”)

There will be a fantastical quality to Fossora, Björk explained, but also an earthiness. “Let’s see what it’s like when you walk into this fantasy and, you know, have a lunch and fart and do normal things, like meet your friends,” she said to Ravens, while also describing Fossora in an email to the Indonesian duo of Gabber Modus Operandi as her “mushroom album.”

“It’s like digging a hole in the ground,” she wrote to the pair. “This time, I’m living with moles and really grounding myself.”

Fossora will be out on One Little Independent Records this fall. Read Björk’s full interview in The Guardian here.

On the Rise

GDRN - Guðrún Eyfjörð Jóhannesdóttir singer

In March 2019, Guðrún Ýr Eyfjörð Jóhannesdóttir, better known as GDRN, was called up to the stage at the Icelandic Music Awards.

Then she was called up again.

Then a third time.

Then a fourth.

In a single night, less than a year after releasing her debut album Hvað ef (What If), the 22-year-old musician had snagged four awards: Best Female Singer, Best Pop Album, Best Pop Song, and Music Video of the Year. In her acceptance speech, she encouraged upcoming artists: “Let yourself dream. Dream really big.” But dreaming alone is not what put those awards in Guðrún’s hands: it was also hard work, a go-getter attitude, a commitment to honesty, and a bit of luck.

It may be not seem so remarkable for a single artist to be awarded four times in one ceremony in a country of 350,000. But this is Iceland: what the music scene lacks in size, it makes up for in might. Its ranks are filled with international legends and local ones (interestingly, with very little overlap); self-taught rockers and highly-trained virtuosos; veterans who have been taking to the country’s largest stages for decades and teenagers releasing their first singles, freshly produced in their bedrooms. Perhaps the most exciting among all of these groups are the rising stars: those artists, like GDRN, whose first ventures into the spotlight – though confident, and capable – make you excited for what is yet to come.

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Of Monsters and Men Perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Of Monsters and Men

 

Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week on US TV network ABC. The performance was days after the release of their newest album Fever Dream, which has been widely well received. RÚV reported first.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, the band performed music from Fever Dream as well as older material. In the coming months, they will be touring the United States with the music from their new album, returning to Iceland for the Iceland Airwaves Festival in November.

“I think we’ve never gotten to follow up on an album so well and spend so much time with an album,” said bandmember Ragnar Þórhallsson when asked about Fever Dream. The album was recorded at the band’s Iceland studio, and produced by the band itself alongside Rich Costey, known for his work with Vampire Weekend, Death Cab for Cutie, and Muse.