Domesticity: Björk’s “Debut”

Björk has said on occasion that her album Vespertine is about being domestic, and going inwards towards oneself. Vespertine, which was originally titled Domestika, was “all about trying to create a paradise in your own home, a very introverted euphoria, a quiet ecstatic state, in that you’re self-sufficient with your heaven. You don’t need stimuli from the outside world. All you need is imagination and human spirit, and faith to want to get there.” Although, when I think of Vespertine, sex comes to mine, not particularly domesticity. When I need feelings of homeliness and familiarity, Debut comes to mind.

Debut reminds me of being one’s own friend, leaving the rural life for an urban existence. It reminds me of drinking straight from the bottle of life, being solely in the present. Notwithstanding the sepia feel of the album cover, I always imagine the colors of the songs to be of a strong, prismic variety (like the base colors for Adobe Suite icons). Debut reminds us to be silly and grounded in ourselves, pleasantly selfish!

When I did “Debut” I thought, ‘OK, I’ve pleased enough people, I’m gonna get really selfish.’ And I never sold as many records as with “Debut”. So, I don’t know, it seems the more selfish I am, the more generous I am. I m not going to pretend I know the formula. I can only please myself.

It’s very hard to say just what it’s about. I’d like it to be a statement of individuality. But I’ve still got a long way to go, so I’m a bit confused, because I just know I can do so much better than this record… 

If you went out somewhere and had a really good time, you don’t wake up the next morning and try to figure out why you did. It’s not because of anything. It’s just the atmosphere, the people, the chemistry of friends, your mood, what happened before, what will happen after. And you can’t explain it, and I don’t understand why you should. And it’s the same with songs.