The ethereal and peculiar figure of Icelandic folktronica singer Björk continuously releases tracks which push the boundaries of popular music, and this doesn’t stop with the second single Blissing Me off her 10th album Utopia.
This celestial track begins with delicate and jingling strings which are incredibly reminiscent of her 2001 album, Vespertine. Her signature vocals combined with a subtle tech beat make this an interesting yet exciting taste of her upcoming album. Throughout the track, the wailing backing vocals create a somewhat dysphoric tone to the song united with the playful melody. Blissing Me replicates the bittersweet feeling of falling in love, of becoming vulnerable. Co-produced by Arca, a common collaborator for Björk, this song delivers the sound her fans expect.
Björk takes a different, and much more hopeful approach to this album. She told The New York Times that “If optimism ever was like an emergency, it’s now” and that “[Utopia] is supposed to be like an idea … a proposal to the world we live in.”
In this second single Björk takes a more narrative approach to her songwriting. Blissing Me tells the tale of “two music nerds obsessing” who are “sending each other MP3s… [and] falling in love to a song”. She ends the song with the question “Did I just fall in love?”. This track vastly differs from her 2015 album Vulcinara which explores her breakup in heavy detail. While she cites Utopia as “[her] tinder album” in an interview with Dazed, “it’s about that search [for Utopia] and about being in love”.
Whether you’re a Björk fan or not, you can’t deny that even at her 10th album she continues to push the boundaries of her listeners’ expectations and expand the folktronica scene.