Vulnicura, the new album from Björk, following a four year hiatus, is about heartbreak. It is also about a rebirth from the shattered pieces left behind. Nowhere is the theme of rising from the ashes more apparent than in the dizzying, oleaginous music video for the fifth track off the new album, “Family”.
As dissonant, staccato strings open the track, the video reciprocates a tumultuous, magma-like churning. Thunderous bass is matched by flash of lightning. As Björk’s battling harmonies meet in crescendo, the magma hardens into the rocky semblance of the musician, but split down the middle and bent backwards over a boulder, as a sacrifice on an alter. A calm comes over the track, and the boulder is illuminated by sunlight and now in the middle of a virgin landscape. As a heavenly choir-like build is now introduced on the track, pink goo seeps out from the body, bringing Björk back to life. What is left of the gash, directly over her heart, Björk sews closed with sprout-like thread. As reborn Björk walks off screen, the final image is of a complex, four-looped ouroboros.
Björk, who separated from longtime partner, Matthew Barney, and underwent throat surgery before the completion of the album, described its creation as “open-heart surgery,” at once destructive and cathartic. The music video, directed by artist Andrew Thomas Huang, captures that sense of regeneration, and also serves as the “moving album cover” for the record. The video is another highlight for a colorful and celebrated musician, whose career, spanning nearly 40 years, nine solo albums, 44 music videos, and a MoMA retrospective, remains far from over.
Watch it and let us know what you think in the comments!
HT: Rolling Stone