Every great musician needs at least one heartbreak album. Dylan had Blood on the Tracks, Beck had Sea Change, Kanye had 808′s and Heartbreak. Now, out of nowhere, that supernatural force known as Björk has given us her own. It’s called Vulnicura, and it’s a gut punch. Björk suddenly released the album two days ago after it was leaked, and without warning we were suddenly listening to the devastation of a relationship in ruins, filtered through the mercurial mind of a musical genius. Vulnicura, which Björk described as “a complete heartbreak album,” chronicles her 2013 split with the artist Matthew Barney, with whom she has a child and it somehow manages to bring this strange, brilliant being down to earth. It turns out that Björk is human after all. If you want to experience the agony of Björk’s heartache (and maybe help mend you own), Vulnicura is available right here.
But you can also head over to Pitchfork, who published an abridged version of an expansive interview with the singer (the full version will appear in the next edition of their journal, The Pitchfork Review) that sheds some light on the pain she mined to make this album. At several points in the interview Björk chokes up and changes the subject, signs of a heartbreak that will be everlasting. If you’re in the mood to catch feelings, keep reading.
“When I did this album—it all just collapsed. I didn’t have anything. It was the most painful thing I ever experienced in my life.”
“In a way, I also rediscovered music, because [chokes up]—I’m sorry—it’s so miraculous what it can do to you; when you are in a really fucked situation, it’s the only thing that can save you. Nothing else will. And it does, it really does.”
“It’s really hard for me to talk about it. It really is in the lyrics. I’ve never really done lyrics like this, because they’re so teenage, so simple. I wrote them really quickly. But I also spent a long time on them to get them just right. It’s so hard to talk about the subject matter; it’s impossible—I’m sorry.”
“But it’s like you were saying, there’s no easy exit through. I wish. I would have taken it if I could. [long pause] It’ll be emotional. I’m just going to have to cry and be a mess and do it. Right now, my life is not getting any discount, as we say in Iceland. There’s no easy access. I have to go through that to get to the next bit.”
Read the rest of the interview here.