This Weeks Music Video with Björk, Green Day, Liam Gallagher, Franz Ferdinand, Sigrid, OK GO & Pale Waves

Björk – Utopia Review

Iconic Icelandic queen of all things artistic and quirky Björk releases her tenth studio album ‘Utopia’. Continuing the path set out by her previous album 2015’s ‘Vulnicura’ tracks are laced with production from Arca, adding distorted beats and a sparseness that chills to the bone.

Described by Bjork as ‘like my tinder…it is definitely about that search – about being in love. Spending time with a person you enjoy on every level…It’s when the dream comes real.’

Things start off within a frosty air as opener ‘Arisen My Senses’ introduces the albums electronic and yet classical etherealness, guiding the way to ‘Blissing Me’s gently romantic air, in which two characters swap records as they fall in love, as well as towards ‘The Gates’ fragmented heartbreak.

Like much if ‘Utopia’ the albums title track feels as though it would fit in a modern Icelandic ballet, with flutes and distant squeals echoing baby cries and birds. ‘Body Memory’, ‘Courtship’ and ‘Losss’ continue the cold and sorrow themes that engulfed every track on the album, while ‘Sue Me’ adds a whirl of rising tension to the chilled air, though ‘Tabula Rasa’, ‘Paradisa’ and closer ‘Future Forever’ continue the flute and birdsong electronics.

According to Bjork the album is not only an emotional journey but also subtly politica; ‘if we’re gonna survive… the sort of situation the world is in today. we’re got to come up with a new plan, if we don’t have the dream, we’re just not gonna change. Especially now, this kind of dream is an emergency.’

Overall dedicated fans will find plenty to be engrossed by in within Björk’s ‘Utopia’ despite perhaps not being the most experimental of her career, as many tracks feel familiar to a repetitive level, overall there is a gentleness amongst her vocal mixed with Arca’s heavy production touch that creates a calming album.

Björk – Utopia = 6/10

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Austra – Utopia 

The Toronto based synth pop group headed by Katie Stelmanis have announced their third studio album Future Politics; their first since 2013’s Olympia which had flashes of brilliance, but was underwhelming everywhere else. Their new single ‘Utopia’ isn’t a huge stray from the key sounds of Olympia, but the arrangement is less cluttered and the production refined instead adding to the musical furniture. The harmonies and melodies hang from a steady and drawn out beat with a more solid beat layered atop it. With this arrangement, Katie’s siren-like operatics are given a greater focus in the grand scheme of things and her vocals hauntingly linger as they fade into the synths. It would be nice to have her raw vocals impose themselves on one of the tracks of this upcoming album however as they can only be echoed and faded so much. If anything this is more noticeable now they’ve refined their sound. A decent opening to their album release.

Owen Riddle