Bjork - Fossora

Regular price $ 43.99

Though the search for connection has been the crux of Björk's music since the beginning, she was resolutely alone on Vulnicura and Utopia. After the traumatic isolation of the former album and the healing solitude of the latter, on Fossora she's ready to reach out again. Named for a Latin word meaning "digger," Björk's tenth album is one of her best blends of the conceptual and the personal. Initially inspired by clarinets, gabba techno (her favorite to play at home during the COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown), and the communal nature of fungal networks, it grew to embrace her new love, her children leaving home, and her mother's 2018 death. Björk weaves these huge emotional milestones together into earthy, organic illustrations of the many kinds of love and how they're expressed. On Fossora, love isn't always soft: the album opener "Atopos" shows Björk has come down from Utopia's clouds with an impatient thud. "Our differences are irrelevant," she insists over jabbing beats, prodding clarinets, and an army of backing vocals before concluding, "Hope is a muscle/that allows us to connect." There's a maternal quality to her no-nonsense tone that ties in perfectly with Fossora's later expressions of being a daughter saying goodbye to her mother and a mother saying goodbye to her daughter. "Sorrowful Soil," the somber choral piece that serves as a eulogy for Björk’s mother, environmental activist Hildur Rúna, is striking, but still doesn't fully prepare listeners for "Ancestress." The equivalent of Vulnicura's centerpiece "Black Lake," it captures Rúna's legacy and passing in beautifully wrenching detail, from the traits she shared with Björk ("she invents words and adds syllables") to the form left behind ("let go of a cold palm"). Just as stunning is the misty-eyed finale "Her Mother's House," where Björk sends her daughter Isadora out into the world with the benediction "The more I love you/The better you will survive/The more freedom I give you." Romantic love inspires several of Fossora's other highlights, whether it's the Homogenic-like fusion of digital, emotional, and physical intimacy of "Ovule," the verdant sensuality of the serpentwithfeet collaboration "Fungal City," or "Freefall," a celebration of "the shape of the love we created" dotted with pizzicato strings that light up the track like tiny bioluminescent mushrooms. Like Vulnicura, the album has its challenging moments -- particularly "Victimhood," a subterranean crawl through the muck of self-pity -- but they make the transition from loss and grieving to love and hope on "Allow" and the title track all the sweeter. Whether Björk presents a magical world on Fossora or just reminds listeners of the magic within everyday life and relationships, it's more proof that she can still forge a remarkable connection with her audience. On this soul-nourishing tour de force, her one-of-a-kind mix of innovation and emotion is as inspiring as it's ever been over her decades-long career.

1 Atopos 4:46
     feat. Kasimyn
2 Ovule 3:38
3 Mycelia 2:00
4 Sorrowful Soil 3:15
5 Ancestress 7:17
     feat. Sindri Eldon
6 Fagurt er í fjörðum 0:44
7 Victimhood 6:57
8 Allow 5:26
     feat. Emilie Nicolas
9 Fungal City 4:45
     feat. serpentwithfeet
10 Trölla-Gabba 1:57
     feat. Kasimyn
11 Freefall 4:31
12 Fossora 4:19
     feat. Kasimyn
13 Her Mother’s House 4:33
     feat. Ísadóra Bjarkardóttir Barney