With ‘Fossora’ Björk takes root in the entrails of the world

How can one not admire Björk? Her creative energy, her ability to escape pop conformity in order to vocally, rhythmically and visually mold an ever-expanding fantasy.

But do we still draw pleasure from listening to her? The question has been posed regularly since the Icelandic singer decided to break free from the art of the verse-chorus to prioritize that of the concept in the mid 2000s.

Released on September 30, Fossora, her 11th album, does not avoid those interrogations.Once again, the vitality of her inspiration – her ability to bring about musical mutations that embody the eruptive power of emotion, communing as much with the elements as with the din of modernity – is admirable.

Since her beginnings – first in a group in the 1980s, then as a solo artist in the 1990s – Björk has vibrated in unison with the fire and ice of her island, but we have rarely heard her merge so intensely with her native land.

Conceived during the early days of lockdown, when the icon of avant-garde pop was isolating in her Icelandic cocoon, Fossora departs from the ethereal reveries of Utopia (2017), her previous album, bursting with soaring flutes to take root in an earth that is both nurturing and mournful.

The title, a feminization of the Latin word “fossor,” meaning “one who digs or stirs up the earth,” refers both to a woman in touch with her vegetal and mineral environment and to the funerary function of a “gravedigger.”