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BJÖRK UNRAVELLED

Demystifying Björk's music, one piece at a time

 
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ABOUT

Bjork Unravelled is the podcast that every Bjork fan can share with their skeptic friends and say, “See? She's not that weird.” 

 

Season 1 is a primer for Bjork beginners. Each episode picks apart a different facet of her music to show that her music isn’t “unlistenable” or “esoteric.” It’s for everyone.

Season 2 follows a slightly different format. Each episode analyzes the intersection of Bjork and a specific social movement, community, or idea, through fan interviews and original analysis.

 

New episodes every other Thursday.

 
 

EPISODES

 

001

Will the real Björk please stand up?

Who is Björk? A mysterious woman in a swan dress? An Icelandic weirdo? A musical genius?   Does the pop culture version of Björk hold any truth — or is Björk is just playing us? In this episode, we'll get to know the "real" Björk. We'll discuss her childhood, her early career, and yes, even that one time she attacked a reporter. We'll sort fact from fiction, discard the stereotypes, and discover how Björk sees herself.

002

Björk: the first genre-bender?

When Björk released her first album, Debut — a record that sampled a different musical style in nearly every song — the music world took note. Her chameleon-like ability to adapt to any genre, and then make it her own, set Björk apart from other artists. So in this episode, I’ll talk about how Björk bends genre and why it matters.

003

Unlocking the full Björk-estra

One of the most common complaints I hear about Björk’s music is her voice.

Here I’ll explore how Björk’s vocals add texture and depth to her songs — specifically in her third studio album, Homogenic. I’ll discuss three songs from that album with my sister Marisa (who introduced me to Björk's work) to understand how her unusual vocals are integral to her music.

004

For the love of Selma

Björk has a superpower that the best musicians do: she can create a character to tell a compelling musical story. One of Björk's characters is Selma, whom she played in the 2000 film Dancer in the Dark. She said that the soundtrack she created for the film was her gift to Selma. 

Examining how these songs bring Selma to life demonstrates Björk’s brilliance as a storyteller — something that I think any film score fan or even country fan can appreciate. So in this episode we’re going to explore the rich interior world of Selmasongs.

005

Beats by Björk

Although Björk took a very active role in producing her records, she often didn't receive full credit for her work. That’s why I want to spend some time with a record that shows Björk's painstaking attention to detail as a producer: Vespertine. My sister Natalie and I will examine it in detail to show why Björk isn’t just a talented vocalist or composer, but a pioneer in music production.

006

1 + 1 = 3

In an interview with Jefferson Hack in 2017, he asked Björk if her collaborative spirit stems from her punk rock origins. She said that it might, but she’s also found that the key to successful collaborations is taking care of your individual creative goals so that you can feel open to another artist’s perspective.  She described this idea as "1 + 1 = 3" — if both artists find common ground, they can create something greater than their two halves.  So in this episode I'm going to explore that equation through a few of my favorite collaborations Björk has done. 

007

Björk to the future

A recurring theme in Björk's music is the intersection of humanity and technology.

Here I'll talk about how Björk’s music intersects with technology and science. I'll start with Biophilia and trace its evolution into the even more expansive Björk Digital exhibit — to show how she uses technology to transform the way we experience music.

BONUS

Great Expectations

If you listened to the trailer of this series, then you know that I created Björk Unravelled to persuade my friend Carter to give Björk's music a chance. And — it worked!
In this episode, Carter and I will reflect on this season and hear how his mindset shifted along the way. How exactly did he go from being confused to enthusiastic? 

BONUS

Underrated Björk songs with The Björk Collector

For this episode I teamed up with Elijah Flores. You may know him as @thebjorkcollector on Instagram. Elijah’s collection is comprehensive. He has purchased every Björk release since Debut and is familiar with even the most obscure parts of her career. So I wanted to bring him on the show to talk about some lesser known, or maybe just underrated songs in her discography.

He’ll share 10 of his picks here, and I’ll add a few of my own. We’ll start chronologically with her work in The Sugarcubes and conclude around the Medulla period.

BONUS

Björk + astrology with Sachi the Scorpio

Whether you follow it or not, astrology is one of many lenses we can use to better understand Björk and her music. In this episode, I talk with astrologist and Björk fan Sachi the Scorpio to learn how Björk's birth chart informs her music — specifically in the song “Pluto” but also throughout her discography. 

201

Medulla: Björk's most punk record?

Before Debut, before The Sugarcubes… Björk was actually a punk rocker.

Here I’ll look back at Björk's punk roots. We’ll learn about the bands she played with, what those years taught her, and how that punk ethos still resonates — specifically in Medulla.

202

Björk's musical foremother

I can’t do a comprehensive podcast about Björk without tracing her musical forefathers — or in this case foremothers. 

Here I'll focus specifically on Kate Bush’s influence on Björk. I’ll draw connections between their careers and their music to better understand Björk's place in the family of musical greats. And through it all, I’ll explain how Bush paved the way for Björk's success in the UK.

203

The swan in the room (with Techno Prayer)

In this episode, I'm joined by Federico Protto, creator of the Bjork fashion archive Instagram called Techno Prayer. Together we'll discuss five looks from the Bjork fashion archives — including what they look like, who designed them, and why they matter. 

And don’t worry… we will address the swan in the room.

204

Björk vs The World

Björk didn’t want to be seen as a political figure. For her, the music mattered most, and it existed in a sphere beyond the day-to-day squabbles of politics. But there is one issue that activates her: climate change.
In this episode, I’ll trace Björk's progression as a climate activist — from reluctant protester to national leader. And I’ll examine the impact this activism has had on her music and the world.