- TPLP12312 x Long Player £22.00X
With each album she makes, Björk immerses us in a fantastical universe of her own design. Now, on Vulnicura, she’s letting us in to her world—though it is not necessarily one of her own choosing. The album outlines the dissolution of Björk’s relationship with her longtime partner, the artist Matthew Barney. She confesses the devastation with candor. By the third song, “History of Touches”, she’s lying awake in bed, indexing the past with startling intimacy: “Every single fuck we had together is in a wondrous time-lapse with us here at this moment,” she laments over glistening synths. She details her struggle to keep her family intact, limning distance, rejection, and the death of their covenant. The blunt force of her words is striking. And damning.
The cast of Vulnicura is limited to a “you” that is only Barney, Björk, and their child; the “we” of it is fleeting. There is a joyous, striving before, which only makes the familial fragmenting that plays across these long, dramatic songs even more wrenching. She tries to staunch the ruin with love, but it’s no use. The album ends with Björk’s reclamation of herself, her voice, and her music, turning Vulnicura into a document of salvation, albeit a fraught one. “When I’m broken I am whole,” she sings on closer “Quicksand”, “and when I'm whole I'm broken.”
2. Lion song
3. History of Touches
4. Black Lake
7. Atom Dance
8. Mouth Mantra