Returning to Iceland, BJÖRK found herself putting down roots, reconnecting with her ancestry, losing her mother and becoming a grandmother. The result is Fossora – the final part of her own post-divorce pagan comedy that’s taken her from America, via heaven and hell, back to Reykjavík again. In the latest issue of Uncut magazine – in UK shops from Thursday, Sept 15 and available to buy from our online store, stand by for revelations involving mushrooms, Icelandic obituary songs, headbanging and “punching dinosaurs in the stomach!” “I just wanted to land on planet Earth and dig my toes into the soil,” she explains to Stephen Troussé.
“The real problem with hiking in Iceland is the weather,” laughs Björk, telling Uncut about the pleasures of walking around her homeland. “To plan any big trips, you really need a gambler mentality. You either go to Las Vegas or you become an Icelandic weather forecaster. In fact, a famous mountain climber recently died out here. He was a veteran of Antarctica and the North Pole, and he went hiking in the Icelandic highlands. He checked the forecast before he set off, was all prepared for his hike, but then the weather went completely bonkers.”
It’s hard to really capture the magnificent gusto and relish with which Björk says the word “bonkers”. But in the best possible way, and without wanting to place her in the kooky pigeonhole writers have been fashioning for over 40 years, it’s her signature word – describing everything from headbanging to Indonesian techno to the networked activity of forest mycelium.
She doesn’t use it in the typical English sense to describe something a bit, you know, wacky or daft. Rather you get the feeling it’s the closest word she can find to render some vast, unknowable, absurd force – a kind of primal Loki trickster spirit – behind all the vital, seething mess and mystery of cosmic, planetary and human behaviour.
In recent years she’s been through her own share of bonkers weather. In addition to the gathering environmental collapse, Covid and economic catastrophe we’ve all endured, on a more personal level she’s had to steer her way through divorce, death and becoming
On top of that she managed to record a sensational cameo as The Seeress in Robert Eggers’ savage Viking epic The Northman (“Now remember for whom you shed your last teardrop!” she hisses, petrifying even Alexander Skarsgård) and continue her Covid-delayed Björk Orkestral tour, playing with orchestras and choirs from Iceland, America and Europe. Somehow, she’s emerged from it all with Fossora, her 10th solo album since Debut 30 years ago, and a record as bold, brilliant and – yes – bonkers, as anything she’s ever recorded.
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