115. Bjork – ‘Hyperballad’ (1995)

“I imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks”

Taken from the album Post

Also released on Telegram, Greatest Hits, Family Tree and Live Box

UK #8, AUS #31

In the early days of my Bjork fandom, ‘Hyperballad’ was my absolute favourite song, and it never really slipped too far – there is, after all, only one more Bjork song on this list. It connected with me because it was weird ‘n wonderful, neatly summing up Bjork’s appeal, but more than that it really sounds like some sort of strange magic, a fantasy tale told from another world, frustrating normal yet completely out of this world.

In ‘Hyperballad’, the narrator tells us of a bizarre ritual. Before her lover wakes up every morning, she takes little things (“car parts, bottles and cutlery”) and throws them over the edge of the cliff that they live on. With complete disregard for the people living at the bottom of the cliff who may get a fork to the head when they step out to their car in the morning, Bjork chucks these things over the side with a psychotic need to see them smash, and then to imagine what would happen if she threw herself off. “I imagine what my body would sound like” she sings, wondering if her eyes would be open or closed. It’s frightening and completely mad.

While all this is happening, the electronic backing is going crazy just behind Bjork’s voice, beeping and blooping and driving along a relentless beat. Post was basically a perfect album, and yet ‘Hyperballad’ was far and away the best song there. It just brought together everything so well, it draws in the listener and then freaks them out, it lulls you into a false sense of warmth until you realise the song is about someone who contemplates suicide every single day for no real reason. ‘Hyperballad’ is the example of Bjork’s strange genius.

Music video:

One Response to “115. Bjork – ‘Hyperballad’ (1995)”

  1. Diana Dalziel Says:

    This is not about suicide!!!!! Do your research!!!!!

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