Björk salutes her late mother Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir on her new song “Ancestress,” the third pre-release track from her upcoming album Fossora. In the Andrew Thomas Huang-directed video, Björk, in a flowing red dress and black, beak-like headpiece, walks amid mountains and caves in tandem with dancers and musicians playing gongs and violins.
Björk’s son Sindri Eldon sings on the track, which she says represents her mother’s “story seen from my point of view” and was written just after her funeral. “It is written in chronological order. The first verse is my childhood and so on. Only recently did I discover that this song is probably somehow inspired by an Icelandic song, ‘Grafskrift,’ which is somehow a very direct and patriarchial account of someone’s life. I probably wanted to approach this in a more feminine way — her biological and emotional story, not her professions, partners or dates of birth and death.”
Björk goes on to explain why she hasn’t been able to attend funerals for 20 years, “as something in them rubbed me the wrong way. Possibly a big part of it is after having lived a life of thousand concerts, I probably have too strong ideas on how a ritual should be, what kinda sound, musical structure [and] words. It took me all this time to discover that for me all funerals should be outside. Probably what was offending me most was how can one set off the spirit in such a claustrophobic environment as a church? When the soul sets off, it needs to be outside so there is room for how enormous it becomes when it merges with the elements.”
Fossora arrives Sept. 30 from One Little Independent.