Bjork Guðmundsdóttir - known mononymously as 'Bjork' is an Icelandic singer-songwriter.
She was introduced to the music industry when she was 11-years-old, releasing a self-titled album. The album was mostly comprised of song-covers sung in the Icelandic language; such as The Beatles' "The Fool on the Hill" ('Álfur Út Úr Hól') and Stevie Wonder's Your Kiss is Sweet ('Bukolla'). 3 years later, Bjork re-emerged after forming the all-girl punk band 'Spit and Snot'. Shortly after she formed the jazz-fusion band 'Exodus' and joined a group called 'JAM80', She and Jakob Magnússon later formed the group ' Tappi Tíkarrass ' ('Cork the Bitch's Ass') and released a debut EP titled 'Bitið fast í vitið' ('Bite Hard into Hell'/'Bite Hard into your Mind') and later released their debut album 'Miranda', During this time Bjork met guitarist Þór Eldon and later married and had a child named Sindri Eldon Þórsson. She also joined more bands including KUKL and The Elgar Sisters. Bjork later starred in Nietzchka Keene's the Juniper Tree; a tale of witchcraft based on the Brothers Grimm story. Bjork played Margit; a girl whose mother has been killed for exploring the practicing witchcraft. The same year Bjork and fomer band members formed the collective 'Smekkleysa ('Bad Taste'), they later re-named to The Sugarcubes and had many smash hits; 'Ammæli' ('Birthday') and 'Köttur' ('Cat'), respectively. Bjork later left the group to work on solo material.
She met the infamous trip-hop producer Nellee Hooper; who produced for many trip-hop groups such as Massive Attack and U2, respectively. She worked with Hooper and later released her first major-label album titled 'Debut', which featured her first solo hit single 'Human Behaviour'; a trip-hop influenced dance song about the connections between humans and animals.
2 years later she released her second album titled 'Post', It showed more collaboration efforts than Debut; an album almost completely produced by Hooper, and spawned 6 singles, 'Army of Me', 'Isobel', 'It's Oh So Quiet', 'Hyperballad', 'Possibly Maybe' and 'I Miss You', only 3 of which charted. The album was listed as one of Bjork's most idiosyncratic albums and critically acclaimed. The aftermath of the album caused major controversy after an over-obsessed named Ricardo Lopez found out the singer started a new relationship with trip-hop pioneer Tricky, he constructed a letter bomb that would disfigure the singer's face when opened, he sent it to her London home and later retreated to his house to commit suicide via gunshot to the mouth; unbeknownst to him, Bjork and Tricky separated the week before. Bjork also was in hot water after she punched a news reporter and tackled her to the ground, her record label later stated that the reporter was taunting her for the past 3 days.
Homogenic and Selmasongs
After the stalker incident, Bjork moved to Spain to produce her album 'Homogenic', The album was later released on September 22, It marked her first of several collaborations with Mark Bell, an electronic producer; She would collaborate with him until 2013 after his tragic death. The album explored more electronic and experimental beats than Debut and Post; which both have trip-hop origins, The album also marked a change in Bjork's music style, with more electronic and experimental sounds than the trip-hop-y Debut and Post, The album spawned 5 singles; Joga, Bachelorlette, Hunter, Alarm Call, and All is Full of Love. Shortly after the album's release, Bjork was asked to star in and compose the soundtrack for the film 'Dancer in the Dark'; a musical drama about an Czech immigrant named Selma (Bjork) who is struggling to pay for an operation to prevent her son from going blind, She released the soundtrack for the film titled 'Selmasongs' in 2001, The song 'I've Seen It All' received a nomination at the Academy Award for Best Song but lost to "Things Have Changed" by Bob Dylan from Wonder Boys, While Bjork was working on 'Dancer in the Dark'.
Vespertine and Greatest Hits
Bjork began working on her fourth album 'Vespertine', Bjork was thinking of making a record with a domestic mood featuring "everyday moods and everyday noises" hence it's working title 'Domestika'. The album features music boxes, choral arrangements, and harpsicords, Bjork started working with Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt - known professionally as 'Matmos', The album features more softer yet ethereal sounds, as Bjork grew tired of the big beats as used in Homogenic. The album spawned 3 singles; 'Hidden Place', 'Pagan Poetry' and 'Cocoon'. The album caused controversy due to the music videos for 'Pagan Poetry' and 'Cocoon', Pagan Poetry's video featured highly blurred scenes of simulated fellatio and ejaculation, and also featured Bjork in an wedding dress designed by Alexander McQueen, it appeared to be pierced into Bjork's skin; The video was banned from MTV's video rotation, Cocoon's video featured a naked Bjork, as red thread omit from her nipples, The video continues until Bjork is fully enveloped into a cocoon. Bjork also stirred controversy after she was seen at the 2001 Academy Awards wearing a 'swan dress' that hung around her neck. Bjork later released 'Greatest Hits' along with the 'Family Tree' boxset, The tracks on Greatest Hits were voted via her website. The album spawned a single titled 'It's in our Hands'.
Medulla and Drawing Restraint 9
In 2004, Bjork released Medulla, the album is considered Bjork's most experimental album, the album is almost completely constructed of vocals. The album features Inuit throat singing, beat-boxing, and choral arrangements, The album has the vocal talents of Tanya Tagaq, Rahzel, and The London and Icelandic Choir, respectively, The album themes follow patriotism and breastfeeding; as the album was being worked on shortly after the birth of Bjork's daughter Ísadóra Bjarkardóttir Barney; she was 2 at the time of the album's release. The album spawned 2 official singles; 'Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right) ' and 'Triumph of a Heart', and 2 promotional singles; 'Oceania' and 'Where is the Line'. The album received little to no promotional and had no tour, as Bjork said she wanted to get back to writing music and the songs would be difficult to perform live. Shortly after Medulla was released Bjork starred in and compose the soundtrack for the art flim 'Drawing Restraint 9'; a dialogue-less exploration of Japanese culture. Björk playing an occidental guest on a Japanese whaling vessel who ultimately transforms into a whale.
Bjork later started working on her sixth album 'Volta', she started working with hip-hop super-producer, Timbaland, known for producing for Missy Elliott and Brandy, she also collaborated with Congolese group Konono No 1, singer Anthony Hegarty and frequent collaborator Sjon. 'Volta' was officially released on May 1, 2007; the album was leaked on UK iTunes at midnight on April 23, 2007 for a total of six hours, two weeks before the albums initial release, The album spawned 5 singles; 'Earth Intruders', 'Innocence', 'Declare Independence', 'Wanderlust' and 'The Dull Flame of Desire - featuring Anthony Hegarty'. Bjork soon after released Voltaic, a boxset that featured a CD of eleven songs performed live at the Olympic Studios, a DVD of Björk's live performances in Paris and Reykjavík during the Volta tour, a second DVD of the Volta music videos as well as videos of the top ten runners-up from the "Innocence" video contest, and a second CD of remixes from Volta's singles.
In 2011, Bjork released Biophilia, the album was released along with an app that featured games for each of the songs on the standard edition of the album, The album spawned 4 singles; 'Crystalline', 'Cosmogony', 'Virus' and 'Moon'. Bjork created instruments to make the album such as the 'gameleste' and 'gravity harp'. She later released a concert film and live album for Biophilia titled 'Biophilia Live'.
In 2013, Bjork had separated from her partner Matthew Barney, She started working with Venezuelan producer Arca to start creating her latest studio album Vulnicura, the album centered on the separation and the healing process. It was released on January 20, 2015, Bjork later released a 'acoustic' version of the album titled 'Vulnicura Strings (The Acoustic Versions – Strings, Voice And Viola Organista Only)' on November 6, 2015, it contains the songs from the album played on the Leonardo Di Vinci-created instrument 'Viola Organista, Bjork also released the live version of the album titled 'Vulnicura Live', it also features 1 new song titled 'Come to Me', it also features Undo from Vespertine, I See Who You Are and Wanderlust from Volta and Mutual Core from Biophillia. Bjork is currently working on her ninth studio album with Arca.