Throughout life, we are often given the opportunity to witness events and experiences that transform and shape us, and what Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds is accomplishing on his re:member tour is one of those opportunities. Arnalds began his set at Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Theatre in silence with two spotlights highlighting his seat at the grand piano. Ever so gently, the darkness of the room shifted to light as a symphony of sound resonated throughout the historic venue.
“Threading an ocean through a needle” — Björk
Why You Should Care:
You could make a sound argument for any moment in Björk’s long and evolving career as a musical icon. Her escalating musical complexity and embrace of different styles and technologies (in artful ways, never as a gimmick) stem from her pouring her entire heart into every last moment of a project, using the flow of her own life as a lyrical and musical guide.
Björk’s’s latest, Utopia, has been widely cited as a comeback from the “breakup” vibes of 2015’s Vulnicura. The recurring theme is of her re-engaging with a part of the self that she had lost during her separation and estrangement from long-time partner Michael Barney — namely her sensual self. “Body Memory” could represent the whole 14-track (71 minutes, 38 seconds) epic poem on its own, structurally and sonically, with light, airy flutes supported by intensifying rhythmic breaks (almost like memories) as the song develops.
With its lyrical undercurrent of being “trapped in a legal harness,” “Body Memory” is as literal as Björk ever gets, alluding to the pain of her separation before embracing the excitement and chaos of love life head-on again.
“Body Memory” was released on Utopia on November 24, 2017. Experience this song on your next snowy mountain road trip.