With the release of Björk’s latest album, Utopia, her musical prowess is seemingly never-ending, charting her life and personal growth through lyrics both intimate and universal. While Björk is now a name everyone knows, her humble beginnings in Iceland were precocious from the start, as her unique singing voice and stage presence was recognised right away. Utopia may represent Björk as she is today, but it comes after nine solo albums, making it even more impactful when put into context with her previous output that spans over four decades. The following songs represent the evolution of the singer.
‘I Love to Love’ (1977)
Björk, born in 1965, began her career at the tender age of 11, when she made her first public appearance on an Icelandic radio station singing ‘I Love to Love.’ Through the song she landed a record deal, which saw the release of her first record, Björk, a year later.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
‘Mataharí’ with Tappi Tíkarrass (1982)
During her teenage years, Björk sang in a variety of experimental punk bands, including Tappi Tíkarrass (which translates to ‘put a cork in the bitch’s arse’), active between 1981 and 1983, and Kukl (‘Sorcery’) active between 1983 and 1986. With these bands, we can hear Björk’s signature experimental vocal range explored to the max. A documentation of these early days can be seen in the music documentary Rökk í Reykjavík, which features other exciting punk bands from this vibrant period in Icelandic music history.
‘Birthday’ with The Sugarcubes (1987)
The Sugarcubes was the most popular band Björk was a member of at the time. Active between 1986 and 1992, The Sugarcubes’ signature hit was ‘Birthday.’ Their sound was described as avant-pop and psychedelic post-punk, with Björk’s feminine voice interspersed with her bandmate’s erratic vocals. Her time with The Sugarcubes presented further experimentation with her signature vocal style, which would develop in her break-out solo albums after The Sugarcubes disbanded.
‘Human Behavior’ – Debut (1993)
Debut was Björk’s first international solo studio album, featuring songs she had written while she was still a teenager. The album represents the emergence of her solo musical identity and saw the incorporation of house beats, which she had been introduced to in the club scene in London during the early 1990s. Her next solo albums, Post (1995) and Homogenic (1997), also involve a collaborative effort of musicians active in house music, trip-hop, and electronica.
‘Hidden Place’ – Vespertine (2001)
The album Vespertine, which features the single ‘Hidden Place’, utilises more ambient and glitch beats than her previous works. Intended by the singer to be more intimate and domestic, it also introduces the singer’s first involvement with experimental instrumentation, combining electronica with instruments such as the clavichord, harp, and music boxes. The lyrics also became more intimate than before.
‘Mouth’s Cradle’ – Medúlla (2004)
Medúlla was an extremely experimental album, consisting almost completely of human vocals sung a capella, in addition to a few musical instruments such as synthesizer, piano, and gong. Many songs in the album, including ‘Mouth’s Cradle’, make use of a cut-up method of vocals. Here, we witness Björk continue her ever-experimental exploration of avant-garde pop with even more brevity and development of her own unique vision. As usual, the visuals are stunning.
‘Innocence’ – Volta (2007)
The album Volta represents a noticeable return to the more pop sound of her previous albums, although the singer has stated that the album was intended to be more of an experiment to see where pop music and her previously avant-garde work overlap. The result is a collective effort featuring a variety of musicians including Toumani Diabaté, the legendary Malian kora player, and electronic musician Mark Bell.
‘Moon’ – Biophilia (2011)
Developed as a concept album during the 2008–2011 Icelandic financial crisis, the album explores the interlinking ideas between nature, music, and technology. Fittingly, the album was the first app album released alongside a series of apps about musicology. The album features new musical instruments, including a Tesla coil, a gameleste, and gravity harps. The song ‘Moon’ includes different musical cycles repeating throughout the song with lyrics that make metaphors between natural phenomena and their effects on human beings. The mesmerising songs introduce us to the increasing innovation of the singer’s concepts and, in some ways, accumulates all of the progress made in her previous albums.
‘Stonemilker’ – Vulnicura (2015)
Vulnicura is the singer’s breakup album, in which the lyrics and ambiance relate to the painful experience. The lyrics represent a return to intimate subject matter, while the songs incorporate electronic and ambient elements. The album’s release coincided with the release of Björk Digital, an 18-month, world-traveling virtual reality experience showcasing the singer’s continuing evolution with music and technology, as well as her emotionally honest expression.
‘The Gate’ – Utopia (2017)
The first single on her latest album, Utopia, ‘The Gate’ pushes beyond the personal pain of Vulnicura and explores ideas of transcendent love. The full album, which will be released on November 24, 2017, is instigated by the current political climate and uncertainty, and the need to visualise a utopia. In her latest album, the singer shows us her musical mastery and personal evolution, as she pairs her electronica background with a poetic flute ensemble in a stunning music video clip.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.