It’s not very often that I feel the need to say “thanks” to Elbow’s Guy Garvey.

Sure, he’s given us all a number of lovely songs over the years, as well as a few fine sets at Glastonbury too.

But it’s for his Sunday afternoon show on BBC Radio 6 that I feel more thankful, because it helped me to fall in love with Björk once more. 

For whatever reason, I’d stopped paying much attention to her, as each new album seemed ever more baroque, inaccessible and self-regarding.

Then, about four years ago, Guy Garvey played an album track from 2001’s “Vespertine”.

It was an incredible embroidery of micro-beats, strings, harps and that unique voice – and it left me thunderstruck.

The track was “Unison”, a six-minute opus of almost unbearable beauty that told the story of a person battling to understand the meaning of a new relationship – the compromise, the duality and the search for acceptance of something very different.

The song was already taking up a semi-permanent residence in my head – but then I saw the animated video that accompanied the song – and what was left of me melted away altogether.

A boy and a girl meet in a sylvan setting, pull apart and then come back together again, with each somehow representing life and death, growth and decay, singularity and duality, resistance and acceptance – artfully expressing the unceasing search for balance between those apparent opposites.

The song was already a musical masterpiece, but this achingly beautiful video was just as magnificent too.

Guy Garvey had reminded me of the genius of Björk.

I had some catching up to do.

But, thank you anyway. 

Published by johnelsewhere1968

Thoughtful wanderer in search of virtual meaning

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