Björk reveals the backstory of new single ‘Oral’ with Rosalía

Björk has opened up about the backstory of new single ‘Oral’, her collaboration with Rosalía.

The singer announced she was teaming up with the Spanish superstar in October in order to fight fish farming in Iceland. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Björk has expanded upon the origins of the song.

“I recorded it between [1997’s] ‘Homogenic’ and [2001’s] ‘Vespertine’,” she said. “It was just so different; it was so poppy. It didn’t fit either album somehow. But I never forgot about it. It was always kind of rolling around in my brain.


At the time, the song was in analog, physical tape form, meaning it was very difficult to locate as the Icelandic singer had forgotten its name. For years, it went undetected, until March 2023.

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“There was this aristocrat, like in the financial district, who had a sex scandal or something, and there was a court case about him and his two sons,” Björk explained. “I was touring in Australia at the time, and I was watching CNN. In the ribbon of headlines at the bottom of the screen, it said, “Oral or not oral?” Like, “Was it oral or not oral?”

“I was like, “Wow, that’s the name of the song: ‘Oral.’” And I texted my manager and said, “Could you look in the analog multitracks and find the song called ‘Oral,’” and he found it. Three days later, he emailed it to me.

“What’s weird is that the song was exactly how I remembered it. I liked the song, but it was sort of its own little thing that doesn’t fit on any albums or anything. And then this whole open sea fish farming thing came up, and I was like, “Oh, I will just give it to activism.”

Björk (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for ABA)

Björk delved deeper into the song’s meaning, which apparently has nothing to do with fish farming itself. She said the song pinpointed “that moment when you’ve met someone, and you don’t know if it’s friendship or something more.

“So you become, I guess, aroused,” she continued. “And you become very aware of your lips. That’s maybe why I called the song “Oral.” You don’t know what the consequences are if you act. Sometimes fantasy can be amazing, and that’s enough; you don’t have to also do things.

“But it’s quite playful. It’s not a painful song at all. And even though I obviously didn’t write this song for salmons, I like the fact that it’s a happy song.”

‘Oral’ is Björk’s newest music since 2022 album ‘Fossora’, which NME rated four stars: “Perhaps, as Björk mused in a recent interview, the world really is now ready for “matriarch music”. On this form, she sounds like she’s ready to reap her dues and lead the charge.