Björk is violently trippy, Morrissey hides from the news

The Icelandic wonder’s ‘healed chest wound transformed into a gate’, apparently

Morrissey: bed-bound. Photograph: Savenok/Getty Images for Firefly/AFP

Morrissey: bed-bound. Photograph: Savenok/Getty Images for Firefly/AFP

 

BJÖRK

The Gate

****

If Björk’s 2015 album, Vulnicura, dealt with themes of heartbreak, following the dissolution of her 13-year relationship with American artist Matthew Barney, her forthcoming Utopia album promises to be a story of rebirth. “My healed chest wound transformed into a gate, where I receive love ...” This video treatment by director Andrew Thomas Haung is sensuous and trippy.

MORRISSEY

Spent the Day in Bed

***

“Stop watching the news,” commands Morrissey on the lead single from his first new album in three years. “Because the news contrives to frighten you.” I’m not sure the terrifying realities of Trump, Syria, North Korean nukes, homelessness, Brexit, the Rohingya crisis et al can be attributed entirely to media scaremongering. But then, trying to make sense of anything Morrissey says these days is usually a fool’s errand. The Pyongyang-esque press release accompanying this claims his 2013 autobiography was acclaimed by literary reviewers “as a masterpiece in writing and prose”. Which isn’t exactly how I remember it. Low in High School is out November 17th.

TOBY RANDALL ft DJ KHALED

Landslide

***

On the opening track from his debut EP, new Roc Nation signing Toby Randall tells us that he needs us to be honest, he needs us to be open. The Northampton native probably also needs his mother’s permission to be out after nine o’clock at night because he’s just 16 years old.

MAVIS STAPLES ft TOM WAITS

Respect Yourself

****

The iconic American singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples was joined onstage by Tom Waits for this version of her classic 1971 hit Respect Yourself, recorded at the Lagunitas Amphitheatre in California recently. Staples’s forthcoming album If All I Was Was Black includes 11 new songs written by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.

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