Bjork premiered six new songs set to appear on her forthcoming Elektra album, "Vespertine," at an intimate concert last night (May 22) at New York's Riverside Church. Tickets to the event, which found
Bjork premiered six new songs set to appear on her forthcoming Elektra album, "Vespertine," at an intimate concert last night (May 22) at New York's Riverside Church. Tickets to the event, which found Bjork backed by a 12-person choir, harpist Zeena Parkins, and experimental electronic duo Matmos, sold out within minutes via the artist's official Web site last Friday.
The evening began on an appropriately heavenly note, as Bjork walked up and down the aisle while singing the sad, slow "Unravel," from 1997's "Homogenic" album. Fans sat with mouths agape, as Bjork's lyrics provided the inner monologue of those starved for a taste of her new material: "while you are away / my heart comes undone."
Overall, the new songs reflected the venue's serene setting. The sensual "Undo" was marked by a chill-inducing vocal display prior to the song's fade into silence, while "Pagan Poetry" prominently featured Parkins on harpsichord as well a humorous call-and-response from the choir.
"Cocoon" returned to the more unusual synthesizer melodies and skittery beats of Bjork's past, while "Aurora" found Matmos' M.C. Schmidt creating a rhythm by sampling his own footsteps. Bjork was accompanied solely by Parkins on the haunting "Palmstroke," which was followed by the set-closing "It's Not Up to You," featuring an uplifting chorus atop bizarre synth backing.
"Vespertine" is due Aug. 28 and will be preceded by the single "Hidden Place." Bjork is planning a fall tour of opera houses in support of the set. For a full review of last night's show, visit Billboard.com's Live Reviews section.