The Gate

Album: Utopia (2017)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The lead single from Bjork's ninth studio album, the follow-up to Vulnicura, "The Gate" was released on September 18, 2017. Bjork said:

    "'The Gate' is essentially a love song, but I say 'love' in a more transcendent way. Vulnicura was about a very personal loss, and I think this new album is about a love that's even greater. it's about rediscovering love - but in a spiritual way, for lack of a better word."
  • The trippy video was directed by long-time collaborator and artist Andrew Thomas Huang, who has also worked with Sigur Ros and Kelela. Huang is responsible for producing some of Bjork's most striking clips – including "Black Lake" and "Stonemilker." He told Nowness:

    "The Gate picks up where 2015's Vulnicura left off. It is the first glimpse into Björk's utopia. The doorway lies within the wound from Vulnicura, which now appears transformed into a prismatic portal channelled between the chests of two lovers. Not lovers in the quotidian romantic sense, but in a broader cosmological way.

    As a throughway into Björk's new album, The Gate is a declaration of hope sung by a woman refracted and re-formed into a luminous whole."
  • The bizarre shimmering gown that Björk wears in the video was designed by Gucci designer, Alessandro Michele. The dress took 550 hours to make, with an additional 320 hours needed for embroidery.
  • The song features the chatter of birds that sound like the Star Wars character R2-D2. Bjork explained to Pitchfork:

    "I used a vinyl album of Venezuelan music I had, [Hekura–Yanomamo Shamanism From Southern Venezuela], that was recorded in the '70s - Venezuelan birds. The birds there sound completely different. They sound like R2-D2, or techno.

    There's one beautiful sound that ended up in the beginning of 'The Gate,' a recording of these birds that Venezuelans believe are the ghosts of fetuses. If they have stillborns or young children that die, they think they go into the jungle and make these sounds.

    They sound like '70s analog synths. It's one of my all-time favorite noises. I had sentimental feelings about that particular album. You can actually hear the scratches of the vinyl on the birds. It's a layered affinity for me."

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