Björk: ‘I recorded birds which sounded like R2-D2 on my new album’

Icelandic singer also shares a new DJ mix

Björk has revealed further details about her forthcoming new album ‘Utopia’ describing one song featuring birds that “sound like R2-D2.”

Described as her ‘Tinder album‘ and featuring new single ‘The Gate‘, the Icelandic avant-garde icon’s ninth album will be released on November 24. In keeping with the rest of her solo records, the album’s sleeve features an artistically reimagined portrait of Björk. This time it’s a colourful fantasy scene by artist Jesse Kanda. Pre-order the album here.

Speaking about the track, the singer said the sounds on it are similar to the popular Star Wars character.


She told Pitchfork: “Some of it was recorded in Iceland. I have a cabin by a lake, and there are a couple of pairs of Arctic Loons that live just outside there. They’re really beautiful and huge. They obviously ended up on the album.

Bjork shares the beautiful new video for 'The Gate'

The singer added: “Also, I used a vinyl album of Venezuelan music I had, [Hekura–Yanomamo Shamanism From Southern Venezuela], that was recorded in the ’70s—Venezuelan birds. The birds there sound completely different. They sound like R2-D2, or techno.

“There’s one beautiful sound that ended up in the beginning of ‘The Gate’, a recording of these birds that Venezuelans believe are the ghosts of fetuses. If they have stillborns or young children that die, they think they go into the jungle and make these sounds.

“They sound like ’70s analog synths. It’s one of my all-time favourite noises. I had sentimental feelings about that particular album. You can actually hear the scratches of the vinyl on the birds. It’s a layered affinity for me.”

The singer has also shared a new DJ mix via Mixmag featuring a portion of the track ‘Loss’, from her forthcoming album, as well as songs by collaborator Arca, Kelela, Steve Reich, Kelly Lee Owens and Serpentwithfeet.


In a statement, Björk wrote: “Here is a little set for you. it is most definitely flute and air themed and perhaps reveals the sonic environment my ears were in last year. i thank all the musicians.” You can listen to the mix below.

Recently, Björk announced her next UK gig – headlining London’s new All Points East festival on Sunday May 27, supported by Beck, Father John Misty, Flying Lotus 3D, Mashrou’ Leila, Sylvan Esso, Alexis Taylor, and Agoria Live. Other acts set to play across the APE events include LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Lorde, The National, The War On Drugs and many more.

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