Headphones: Bjork Creates Wonderful New Worlds With Flutes
Album of the Week
Bjork- "Utopia": The legendary Icelandic artist, Bjork, unleashed her latest album, Utopia, this week to critical acclaim. Her airy and tranquil aesthetic bares fruit to one of the most majestic albums of the year.
Bjork has always been known to turn music on its head and produce some of the most eclectic and gorgeous sounds imaginable. On Utopia, Bjork goes above and beyond and tells stories of love, loss, passion, isolation, and finding beauty in everything around her.
The album begins with the stunning and otherworldly "Arisen My Senses." The song has a flowy, harp-filled swell that is pulsated by clattering percussion, presumably by phenom producer ARCA. Bjork's voice sounds primed to lull a lover, or perhaps swoon a suitor. She weaves her voice in and out of subtle whisper to erupting passionate shouts. It's a hell of a way to start an album.
"The Gate" is where the track finds an impeccable voice, through the stunning use of flutes. Flutes and Bjork is just such a superb combination, it seems like something that should have happened a long time ago. The song sounds like a love song from Lord of the Rings, urging Sam Wise and Frodo to continue onward through treacherous darkness. The voice of Bjork consistently remaining a bright light in the black.
The album's title track, "Utopia" is a whimsical gallivant through the woods, complete with animal sounds and all. But Bjork finds a way to make these sounds into music, and transform that music in to something so much deeper, soaked in meaning and emotion. Drums scatter the track and bass kicks create layers of depth on these tracks that would ordinarily not be there. Bjork's unlikely team-up with ARCA is truly a stunner.
There is no way to truly describe these tracks efficiently. I've been trying to encapsulate the sound in words for hours now, and it just can't be done. The only way to truly understand this album is to put it on and transform to this world that Bjork creates for us. It is only then, when living among these creatures and these sounds, making love under the skies and wandering through the tall grasses, is when you will find true meaning in the sound. I am merely a writer, overcome with the majesty of one of the great auteurs of music.
Single of the Week
The Hold Steady- "Entitlement Crew": Remember the sound of driving around with friends with rock music playing loud on the stereo? Remember the feeling of pumping your fist at the concert, feeling the heat of the crowd pushing around from all angles to the music? That's what this new Hold Steady track sounds like.
The Minneapolis-based rock band has always created unstoppable music that could topple buildings. Vocalist Craig Finn writes like Bob Dylan with a more sadistic sense of humor and more drug-lingo. The band has produced classic albums in past like Boys and Girls in America and Almost Killed Me, and this song sounds a lot like them.
Music Videos of the Week
G-Eazy- "The Plan": What is it about G-Eazy that makes him look like the perfect villain in a James Bond movie. He's tall, lean, has the slicked back mobster haircut, and he just seems unlikable. All of these attributes absolutely work for him. And the cinemetgraphy in this video is pretty spectacular. The song might not be the best, it might be a Big Sean ripoff, but damn does it look cool. And that's the whole point, right?
Dream Wife- "Let's Make Out": I wish my prom was like this. I wish there was a kickass female punk band playing, instead of some douche with a DJ board. I wish there was more making out and less "too-cool-for-this" attitude having. And more than anything, I wish I went to my prom. Here's to high school!