Björk and longtime directorial collaborators Inez and Vinoodh deliver another striking, mesmerizing visual piece, this time for “Lionsong.” The track appears on the Icelandic musician’s latest album, Vulnicura.
The nearly seven-minute clip finds Björk channeling her sparse meditation on the foreboding signs that precede a breakup into movements that are at times dainty and pointed, and at others, powerfully grandiose.
Donning a costume similar her Vulnicura cover — a black latex suit cut with a translucent heart on her chest and a shoulder wrap and headpiece sprouting blue and yellow feathers — Björk delivers an impassioned performance as the background visuals warp behind and around her.
“Björk’s character for ‘Lionsong’ had to be smooth like a spider waiting in her web and seductive like a Balinese dancer cast in bronze,” Inez and Vinoodh told Noisey. “She is seen as if under a microscope, baring her heart while luring us inside the bloody galaxy of her own wound.”
Vulnicura was released to iTunes in January, just a week after it was announced, and two months ahead of its initially scheduled March release date. Much of the album was produced with Arca — a budding producer whose credits include Kanye West’s Yeezus and FKA Twigs’ LP1 — and found Björk exploring her devastating breakup with longtime partner, artist Matthew Barney.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the singer recalled her recording process after undergoing throat surgery. “I couldn’t speak for three weeks. My daughter and I made notes for each other — it became like a game. But the album was a new beginning. The chorus in ‘Lionsong’ — I was in this forest outside Reykjavík, warming up, opening my throat like a bird. It was cathartic — you realize the tension that built up, because you were protecting that part of you.”