From a Child’s and an Animal’s Point of View

“After The Sugarcubes, I guess I had a mixture of liberation and fear. It had been obvious for a while in the band that I had different tastes than the rest. That’s fair enough – there’s no such thing as correct taste. I wrote the melody for Human Behaviour as a kid. A lot of the melodies on Debut I wrote as a teenager and put aside because I was in punk bands and they weren’t punk. The lyric is almost like a child’s point of view and the video that I did with Michel Gondry was based on childhood memories.”
Björk
(Talking to David Hemingway about the song)

 
 

 
 

Human Behaviour was written by Nellee Hooper and Björk, and was produced by Hooper. The song was first written in 1988 when Björk was still the leading singer of the Sugarcubes, but she decided not to release it with the band. The song was inspired by David Attenborough documentaries and by the relation between humans and animals. Björk explained to Rolling Stone, talking about the inspiration for the song: “Human Behaviour is an animal’s point of view on humans. And the animals are definitely supposed to win in the end.So why, one might ask, is the conquering bear presented as a man-made toy? I don’t know. I guess I just didn’t think it would be fair to force an animal to act in a video. I mean, that would be an extension of what I’m against. I told him [Gondry], ‘I want a bear and textures like handmade wood and leaves and earth, and I want it to seem like animation.’ Then I backed out.” On a recent question and answer session with fans on The Guardian website, Björk revealed more information about the writing of the song: “I wrote it I was referring to my childhood and probably talking about how I felt more comfortable on my own walking outside singing and stuff than hanging out with humans…”

 
 

 
 

This is the first song on the “Isobel song cycle”, a transcendental cycle in Björk’s discography which goes from Human Behaviour to Wanderlust (2007). Human Behaviour bears influences from electronica, alternative rock and alternative dance. The melody-line of Human Behaviour was originally called Murder for Two and written by Björk for the Sugarcubes’ final album Stick Around for Joy. But The band didn’t know what music to play to the melody-line, so Björk used it for her debut album.

 
 

 
 

The music video was directed by Michel Gondry, and this was the first time he and Björk collaborated. The video is a loose take on the children’s tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears“, with visuals inspired by Yuri Norstein‘s animated film Hedgehog in the Fog. The video has several elements that are present in Gondry’s first feature film Human Nature.

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Declaring Independence

 
 

On April 19th, 1810, in order to establish a new nation, based on the premises of equality of individuals, abolition of censorship and dedication to freedom of expression, a national movement was born to achieve the independence of Venezuela from the Spanish Crown. Björk has used live performances of Declare Independence to express political support for various causes, often to some controversy and I am confident that she would be delighted to lend her support to the people who are faced with the tough political situation Venezuela is getting through right now.
 
Declare Independence is the third single from her sixth full-length studio album, Volta. The song was originally an instrumental track by British musician and frequent musical collaborator Mark Bell, performed at his live shows as early as November, 2006. Björk later added her vocals on top. The lyrics are dedicated to the Faroe Islands and Greenland, islands currently ruled by Denmark, as Björk’s home country of Iceland had been.
 
The military-themed performance video was directed by French director Michel Gondry. It is his seventh video with Björk, and the first since 1997′s Bachelorette. In a press conference on March 22, 2007, Gondry stated that he would be shooting a video with Björk for an upcoming single, and though he did not specifically state which song it would be for, described his treatment as being for a “punk” song.

 
 

 
 

Army of Me was released as the lead single from her second solo album Post (1995). The song partially samples the drum line of When the Levee Breaks by the Led Zeppelin.
 
The singer said that she wanted to capture that “tanker-truck” feeling, the sense of a big machine grinding unstoppably through town and further stated: “I thought I should be driving a very, very big truck to try to wake this person who’s asleep, so I get the biggest truck in the world, and I’m so mad I’ve got metallic teeth, because when you’re really angry, you grind your teeth. So I have to go to the dentist, who tries to steal away from me a diamond I don’t know I have”.
 
When Michel [Gondry] gets his strokes of genius and, in the video for Army of Me, wants a dentist who’s a gorilla to find a diamond in my mouth, some people call it nonsense. But it’s probably the most realistic way of expressing what situation I’m in – all these people trying to take things away from me, and the gorilla finding a diamond that I don’t know I have and then stealing it. Army of Me is so much about me actually learning that I have to defend myself. I have to stand up and fight the fucking gorilla. Once I’ve got the diamond and I run away with it, it becomes massive ‘cos it’s mine. But if the gorilla had kept it, it would have gone really tiny. That’s surrealism for me