Proceeds from the song will help combat open salmon farms in Iceland
At some point in In the late 90s, Björk wrote and recorded “Oral,” a song she thought was too poppy to be released on albums like Homogenic or At night. Then she forgot about it. She recently rediscovered it in her archives and turned it into a duet with Rosalía, in which the two women sing about falling in love with a man and not knowing how to express it. “I can just sneak up behind his head,” one of the lyrics says, “then I’ll lift his hair and bite it lightly.” And this after the women chanted, “Is this the right thing to do? I just don’t know/I just don’t know.”
“It’s totally that moment when you meet someone and you don’t know if it’s friendship or something more,” Bjork said Rolling Stone last month. “So you get, I guess, excited. And you become very conscious of your lips. Maybe that’s why I called the song ‘Oral’. You don’t know what the consequences will be if you act. Sometimes fantasy can be amazing, and that’s enough.”
Proceeds from the song will help prevent the proliferation of farmed salmon that could endanger the ecology of Iceland’s native fish. The women want to contribute to a legal fund for people living around Seyðisfjörður on the island so they can stop an industrial salmon farm from opening. The remaining money will go towards campaigning for new legislation and raising awareness.
In addition to talking to Rolling Stone about why the cause means so much to her, she talked about the origins of the song and why she brought Rosalía to sing it. “I made the arrangement and the beat myself and, at the time, I was very inspired by dancehall, this music generated in Jamaica,” she said. “So I made a dancehall beat underneath. And then I thought, ‘Hmm,’ because Rosalía just made a kind of experimental reggaeton album, and I thought, ‘Well, I think dancehall is kind of the grandmother of reggaeton.’
“I’ve been friends with her for a few years now,” she continued, “so I texted her and said, ‘Would you sing this track for me? It’s for the environment. And she immediately said yes, even though she hadn’t heard it. She was taking care of it.