Björk breaks down Vulnicura single “Stonemilker” on Song Exploder — listen

"It’s sort of celebrating simplicity and clarity ..."


Björk recently sat down with Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder, a podcast in which artists break down their own songs and talk at length about how they came to fruition. For the episode, the Icelandic artist spoke specifically about Vulnicura highlight “Stonemilker”, noting its origins and personal backstory, as well as what it was like to collaborate with producer Arca.

On the track’s emotional backbone: 

“It’s about someone who’s trying to get emotions out of another person. The whole song is emotionally about wanting clarity, wanting simplicity, and talking to someone who wants things to be really complex and foggy and unclear. And you saying, ok, I’ve got clarity: want it or not? So, it’s sort of celebrating simplicity and clarity …”

On the simplicity of the lyrics: 

“I was walking on a beach and I was walking back and forth and the lyrics came along without me really editing them. The strength of this album is really simplicity and the thinking out loud feeling. And I shouldn’t be too clever. It would work against it. So, I kind of just went with the first words that came … [they’re] probably the most obvious lyrics I’ve ever written.”

On her vocal performance on “Stonemilker”: 

“I’m mostly a singer, but I think the way I sing is I usually wait for a day that I’m kind of probably more impulsive than other days in one way or another [laughs]. So when I sing, I go to this place where it’s more similar to when I’m doing a concert — I will not have so much of my brain in there [laughs]. I’ll just warm up my voice, have a coffee and jump in the deep end, where you’re more a performer.”

Stream/download the full episode below.

Revisit the immersive video for “Stonemilker”.