Björk’s Visions of an Enchanted Future

171204_r31045Hua Hsu at The New Yorker:

One day, I realized, to my surprise, that Björk was a normal person who did everyday things. Few pop musicians have seemed so futuristic and so weird for as long as she has. Since the early nineteen-nineties, the Icelandic artist has charted extremes—of ecstasy and intimacy, creativity and destruction—always attuned to the possibilities emerging from dance music’s experimental communities. Everything she does feels powered by an intense, full-bodied commitment, as though animated by forces greater than anything the rest of us will ever encounter. So it was shocking when, once, I saw her quietly shopping for CDs. We know that stars are just like us. But Björk has always seemed like her own solar system.

Part of the reason Björk has stood apart is that she projects complete confidence in her own vision, whether it lights on music, politics, performance, or fashion. (Her outfits—think of the swan dress she wore, at the 2001 Academy Awards—were Internet memes before such things existed.) But the most avant-garde aspect of her work has always been her willingness to defy the conventional structures of song. Starting in the early nineties, Björk’s solo albums had a way of translating the all-night euphoria of dance music into short, riotous bursts of sound.

more here.