Björk’s record label discuss ‘nightmare’ leak that led to early release of ‘Vulnicura’

Label consulted Arcade Fire and Paul McCartney manager in moment of panic

Bjork’s record label have spoken about the “nightmare” leak that led to the singer’s new album ‘Vulnicura’ being released two months early, but revealed that Bjork has no plans to pursue legal action against the individuals responsible.

Derek Birkett, founder of label One Little Indian, told Billboard that Bjork contacted him after she was notified of the leak by fans through her website. He then reached out to “a few friends in the business”, including Arcade Fire and Paul McCartney manager Scott Rodger, as well as Megaforce Records’ Missi Callazo, who advised him on what to do.

“Overall, the advice was to do a pre-sale on iTunes with the instant gratification of two or three tracks,” Birkett said. “Bjork ideally wanted to get the whole record out, and to cut a very long story short, she made a mostly artistic decision that she wanted to get it all out. She felt very passionately about it.”

According to Birkett, several physical retailers were angered by the decision to release a digital version of the album early, fearing that it would have an adverse effect physical sales. Rough Trade Germany threatened to end its relationship with Björk all together. “We had to switch some of our partners for other partners. It had a massive, massive impact on us,” Birkett said.

He added: “Basically what happened is I panicked and gave it to iTunes because I told them, ‘All these deals are going down and we’re losing a lot of money, I told them to put it on the cover and we’d give them the exclusive. Then I realised the political implications of giving iTunes the exclusive.”

Bjork announced the album’s release in a post on Facebook on Tuesday (January 20) after a leaked version appeared on the internet. “Vulnicura will be rolling out worldwide over the next 24 hours!!” she wrote, before explaining that the “heartbreak” album was written about the end of a relationship.

Yesterday, it was reported that the album had landed in the Top 20 of the Official UK Album Chart after being on sale for just 24 hours.