Björk presents us with her ninth studio album Utopia, a self-proclaimed "Tinder album" that features co-production from her dear friend and collaborator Arca with a special appearance from Tri Angle Records' Rabit. While the artwork, designed by Jesse Kanda maintains Björk’s tradition of featuring a portrait of herself on each album cover. As she describes “The last album, we sort of call it ‘hell’ — it was like divorce. So we are doing paradise now. Utopia, What a profound and nourishing trip this has been."
Said to have begun working on the record the second she finished the recording sessions for Vulnicura, Utopia is her small island of paradise that she has finally reached following the self proclaimed hellish voyage, leaving her demons behind on the black lake shore.
Emancipated from the web of string arrangements of Vulnicura, we are presented with a tapestry of flutes and woodwind instruments, with birdsong and tones of wonder from the natural world, creating compositions that seem to hover and shimmer in space. She leads us out into a world of post tropical rainforests, that are framed by a petrol-like rainbow sheen.
While Arca takes centre stage behind the dials, the pull of Rabit on board sees his Coil indebted production invoking the darkness of recent Björk records, with metallic thunder still cracking above this island of optimism. Yet make no mistake, the underlying message here is one of finding that endless bliss so many of us dream of day to day, and while it maybe at odds with these trying times, Utopia extends a branch of hope to all that search out its last attempt at paradise.