Björk – Vulnicura (2015)
One advantage of an album over a set of singles is that you can tell an engaging story to listeners, captivating them for around an hour. The orchestral eighth album from the usually surreal Icelander is her most real and honest. Vulnicura (is Latin for a “cure for wounds”) is a unique take on the heartbreak album. Deep and autobiographical (in this case the collapse of her 13-year relationship with Matthew Barney) told in a chronological manner. Starting with the shivering ominous premonition that the love is ending, to the moment of heartbreak, and finally the healing process. An important album in Björk’s already gem-filled catalogue, as it combines her music identity with lyrics that are surprisingly and effectively unclouded and visceral.
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest (2017)
For years we never really knew the true Charlotte Gainsbourg because she fronted the ideas of producers from Air to Beck. However Rest – which has a title that’s a dedication to both her half sister Kate Barry and her father Serge – is Charlotte taking control musically and lyrically and opening her true thoughts to us. We learn so much about her, including her critical views on marriage (that year’s earworm ‘Deadly Valentine’). Lyrics also switch from English to French to add transparency to her dual heritage and to compliment the wonderfully French and theatrical aura that persists throughout.
Choir of Young Believers – Grasque (2016)