Track of the week : Bjork – Black Lake

This week’s track of the week is probably not for everyone. If you’re not a Bjork fan, this is not the one which is going to change your mind. But, after her amazing performance at Manchester International Festival on Sunday, I was always going to choose a song from her new album ‘Vulnicura’.

A ten minute song about the breakup of a relationship may sound like hard work and in a way, it is. The album documents the break-up of her 13 year relationship with artist Matthew Barney, and each track is date stamped as to how long before or after the end it was written. ‘Black Lake’ is the first post break-up track. Bjork documents with devastating honesty her anger and pain at the relationship’s end. Lyrics like ‘”Family was always our sacred mutual mission / Which you abandoned” hit the listener with brutal emotional force.

Musically the track starts minimally, just strings, before beats from produce Arca enter the picture. The orchestra swells, and the beats peak in a techno crescendo mid-song, before slowly descending again. The last thirty seconds of the song, just unadorned strings, are perhaps my favourite part, achingly beautiful. The video (above), filmed for an exhibition of Bjork’s work at Moma New York, is also superb.


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