July Artist – Björk

July Artist – Björk (Part 1)

This post is part of my Deep Dive Music Project. This month I’m listening to some music by Björk. Be sure to check out the Björk playlist I have on Spotify. Other parts of this post include
Part 2
Part 3

This month I am diving into the discography of Icelandic singer/songwriter, musician, DJ producer, and actress Björk.

Björk is one of those artists that I’ve wanted to dive into for a while but just hadn’t up to this point. So when I came up with this project I knew I’d have to feature her music. I only know a few of her songs (see the next section) and I feel like my exposure to Björk can be summarized in the following ways. First, there is the infamous swan dress she wore at the 2001 Oscars. I feel for those who aren’t familiar with her music or film work if you say the name Björk this swan dress will be the first thing to come to mind. But I know there is a lot more to Björk than a dress she wore 20 years ago. And aside from her music there may be a few people (like myself) who’ve seen Dancer in the Dark, the 2000 film she starred in and did the music for. However my knowledge of her as a music artist and songwriter is pretty lacking.

The Björk Songs I Kind Of Know

There aren’t a lot of songs by Björk that I know, but I am somewhat familiar with the following songs.

  • Army of Me
  • Human Nature
  • It’s Oh So Quiet (which is a cover of a song originally by Betty Hutton)

As mentioned before I have seen Dancer in the Dark (a movie I remember being very intense and sad), so I’ve heard the songs she did for that film, but I can’t say I remember them since I only heard them the one time I watched that film.

Impressions

Before I start diving into the discography for the artists I’ve chosen I want to give a rundown of the impression I get of their music and their work. This may or may not be accurate. The point of this isn’t for me to tell you, “this is definitely what this artist’s music is/will be like” but for me to see if these impressions are correct as I go along. They may or may not be.

For the very little that I know about Björk’s music terms like weird, eclectic, innovative, and original comes to mind. Björk has always seemed to me to be an artist marching to the beat of their drum, not terribly concerned with maintaining a certain image or sound. I know she is probably one of the biggest musicians from Iceland (and may be the only Icelandic name I could somewhat pronounce), but I feel like in North America her music is still really niche. I don’t think I’ve heard a radio station, even an alternative one, play a Björk song. So my impressions of Björk are less of her music and more of the “the lady that wore the swan dress the one time, and you’d have to be pretty eclectic to wear that so her music is probably also eclectic.” Is this a right conclusion, I’m not sure.

But don’t make the mistake of reading something negative into the terms weird or eclectic or original or innovative because I love that kin of stuff. And in particular I like when I come across music that’s just so different from anything I’ve heard before. When I first got into Kate Bush years ago it’s because her music was so foreign to me, and it just grabbed me and I went down a year long musical discovery. And while I can’t say for sure that’s what’ll happen listening to Björk this month I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case. Even the songs I do kind of know are very different from each other. So I’m looking forward to listening to an interesting variety of music that may be unlike anything I know.

The Albums I’ll Be Listening To

As a solo artist Björk has 9 studio albums and 2 soundtrack albums, as well as a few compilation albums. From her studio albums I’ve decided to listen to these seven albums

Debut (1993)
Post (1995)
Homogenic (1997)
Vespertine (2001)
Medúlla (2004)
Volta (2007)
Biophilia (2011)

If I have time (and the emotional capability) I may rewatch Dancer in the Dark, and take a listen to one of her other albums. I know before she was a solo artist she was in the Icelandic alternative rock band called the Sugarcubes, so I may try to listen to a few songs from that era of her career if I have time. No matter what I’m forward to a very unique music experience this month.

What’s your favourite song or album by Björk?

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