For the last several weeks now, Björk has been hyping the impending release of a new album called Utopia. She’s already released its lead single, “The Gate”, along with a wondrous music video in which she wears a custom-made Gucci dress. Now, she’s revealed the album’s truly magnificent cover artwork, which was designed by Jesse Kanda, with assistance from Björk, James Merry, and Hungry. She’s also confirmed an official release date for the album: November 24th.
Update – November 2nd: A press release offers up many more details. The album is written by Björk with five of the 14 songs co-written by Arca and one of the songs co-written by Sarah Hopkins. All of the songs except one are co-produced by Arca. One of the songs is co-produced by Rabit. Björk formed a twelve piece Icelandic female flute orchestra, which she arranged for and conducted. She also wrote an arrangement for Hamrahlíðarkórinn, a choir conducted by Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir. The album was edited and structured by Björk on Protools. It was engineered by Bergur Þórisson, Bart Migal and Chris Elms. It was mixed by Heba Kadry and Marta Salogni and mastered by Mandy Parnell.
Also of note: Björk’s new album can be purchased with cryptocurrency: Bitcoin (BTC), Audiocoin (ADC), Litecoin (LTC) and Dashcoin (DASH) are all now valid currency in her online store.
Update – November 11th: Björk has revealed the 14-song tracklist for Utopia.
01. Arisen My Senses
02. Blissing Me
03. The Gate
05. Body Memory
06. Features Creatures
09. Sue Me
10. Tabula Rasa
14. Future Forever
In an Instagram post addressed to her collaborators, Björk wrote, “thank you for telepathically getting me !! over the moon and jupiter gratitudes to magical arca for making the music of this album with me : what a profound and nourishing trip this has been !!! thousandfold appreciation and headbowing.”
Arca, who produced both Utopia and its 2015 predecessor Vulnicura, said of the album’s creation: “the soft merge that yielded this album has been one of the most oxygenating experiences i’ve had in my lifetime. can i be a little sentimental ? i cherish every single moment in the 2+ year journey of this album with you and james and jesse. the licking raindrops out of the salty air in the tropics & listening for birds, swimming in green rivers, the fires crackling through snow … the dark grey storm and the luminous rainbow that flooded the air after. it floods me still each day and with colors i didn’t know. this album truly carries a piece of utopia for me— one that is already smilingly real.”
Björk previously described Utopia as her “Tinder album,” adding that it’s “about being in love. Spending time with a person you enjoy on every level is obviously utopia… I mean, it’s real. It’s when the dream becomes real.”
Watch Björk’s video for “The Gate”: