Album Review Björk - Fossora

Not an easy listen - as one might expect - but definitely a rich, rewarding one.

Björk - Fossora

At the heart of ‘Fossora’ - which, to be clear, is a full, beating one - sits the push-and-pull between old and new. It’s partially inspired by the death of Björk’s mother and the artist’s ensuing grief, and at the same time features her own children (son Sindri on ‘Ancestress’, daughter Ísadóra on the title track). Enveloping orchestral sounds come from strings, woodwind and brass, while crushing industrial samples or glitchy distorted sounds act as percussion. Vocals take from traditional choir structures, and become loops and samples, making full use of stereo sound. The three tracks in collaboration with Bali-via-Jakarta DJ Kasimyn show this best, his industrial clamour at odds with Björk’s soft, emotion-heavy delivery. They each up the ante on opener ‘Atopos’; the title track becomes somehow more controlled the more the chaos shifts; ‘Trölla - Gabba’, meanwhile, takes vocal samples and strings to create a wholly ominous mood. Of course, setting a scene is one of many things the Icelandic artist has long excelled at - that this is a journey of an album would come as little surprise to anyone - and elsewhere we’re taken through peaks and troughs as the organic and binary ebb and flow. The dark, looming ‘Victimhood’, almost video game soundtrack in scope, comes followed by a direct contrast with the bright ‘Allow’; ‘Mycelia’, with its use of sampled vocals to echo dance beats, comes before ‘Sorrowful Soil’, which does similar to instead echo choral rounds. Not an easy listen - as one might expect - but definitely a rich, rewarding one.


Tags: Björk, Album Reviews

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