Björk Shares ‘Ancestress’ Single

The track from the Icelandic musician's upcoming 'Fossora' album was written in tribute to her late mother and features her son.

By Scott Bernstein Sep 22, 2022 7:39 am PDT

Björk pays tribute to her late mother, Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir, on the new single, “Ancestress.” The seven-minute epic appears on Fossora, a forthcoming studio album due out on September 30 via One Little Independent Records.

The string-laden “Ancestress” features vocal contributions from the Icelandic artist’s son, Sindri Eldon. Björk tapped longtime collaborator Andrew Thomas Huang to direct the video for the third single from Fossora. Singles “Atopos” and “Ovule” came out earlier this month. The 13-track Fossora marks the first Björk LP since 2017’s Utopia.

Both “Ancestress” and fellow Fossora cut “Sorrowful Soil” were written by Björk about her mother, who died at age 72 in 2018. “Ancestress” was “is written just after her wordly (sic) funeral and is probably a common musician´s reaction, the impulse of making your version of the story, later,” the 56-year-old musician explained on Instagram. Read more from Björk regarding “Ancestress,” as she wrote:

this song is a letter to my mother, her story seen from my point of view
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 someones 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

i am very grateful to my son, sindri eldon, to arrange and sing vocals for the verses
as he has a delicious voice and was very close to her .

for 20 years i have not been able to attend funerals 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, words and 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.

Björk stars in the “Ancestress” video along with dancers. The musician and the dancers pull off choreographed moves on a gorgeous mountaintop. Gongs and violins are played as Björk leads the troupe into a cave-like setting. Watch the cinematic visual below:

  • Björk Details New Album ‘Fossora’

    Björk Details New Album ‘Fossora’ 

  • Björk Shares ‘Atopos’ Single

    Björk Shares ‘Atopos’ Single 

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