November 21, 2023

Björk / ROSALÍA - "Oral"

Björk has enlisted ROSALÍA for a new single to protest devastating fish farming practices in Iceland.

Avant-pop luminary and producer extraordinaire Björk's new single isn't as new as you'd might think. Although she's been teasing it for several weeks, the song has actually existed since the late '90s when the singer was at the height of her imperial phase. Written during the times that produced the masterpiece Homogenic and it's classic follow-up Vespertine, "Oral" was originally deemed to sweet and sugary to fit on those records and has been kept on the shelf for decades while the singer has turned towards more abstract and complex music. Now, she's been inspirted to resurface the track and has invited ROSALÍA to join her on vocals. Matching the heightened pop sensibilities of the likes of "Hidden Place" and "It's Not Up to You," the song swirls with a club-like elegance and Björk stated that the track was originally written and produced around a Dancehall beat and given her recent contributions and work in the genre, ROSALÍA was a natural fit for the collaboration. Even with it's beginnings dating back to a radically different Björk sound than many of her recent albums, there are still arrangements that aren't too distant from her latest record, Fossora, which ties it up nicely to her current output. For any long-time fan, this is a return to form most probably never expected while still keeping an eye and finger on the current pulse. She hasn't retreated from the new forged territory she has so impeccable traversed on recent records, but she's embraced a part of her past unlike we've ever heard her do before and it's a youthful feeling that is equally transcendent as it is grounding. For the first time, Björk might not have pushed the ball forward, but if she's found a place where she can fully create and sound like her authentic self, it's one of the more rewarding things we could expect. Fittingly, today is her birthday, but she's the one who has given us a gift.

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