Listen To This: After five years, Björk returns with ‘Atopos’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by The 1975, FLETCHER and more.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Welcome back to Listen To This! Our first edition of the fall semester starts off strong with plenty of excellent releases spanning artpop, Britpop, electropop … well, just all things pop. Read on for more.

“Atopos” by Björk featuring Kasimyn

Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Arts Editor

Björk is back! Following up 2017’s brilliant “Utopia” — an album that retained the artist’s most dazzling sensibilities while also showcasing Arca’s immense production talent — Björk’s newest single, “Atopos” demonstrates the artist’s inventively seductive and paradoxical style. In “Atopos,” a preamble to her forthcoming album, Björk juxtaposes a thumping drumbeat against the undulating ethereality of her voice. The artist dives into new sonic territories with the same mastery of mixing she’s always held, one that allows her to compose whirlwind poesy out of the most divergent, violent musical arrangement. In any other musician’s hand, a fairy voice would never triumph against techno-type pummeling; but Björk’s brilliant maneuvering of musical melting pots shows both a simple fusing of genre and an astute ability to play with the varying veins that make up music’s moldable configurations. As evidence of this fact, Björk builds up an early crescendo by amping her voice alongside the song’s baseline beat, only to segue into a calm respite mid-song. The following hurl back into a sharp, drum-driven assault on the senses toward the single’s finale further confirms that she holds a divine musical touch. Such is her disposition, a godly, unfamiliar, forward-thinking understanding of elemental artistic forces that shines in all aspects of her being, from her fashion-defining looks to her inventive discography.  

“I’m In Love With You” by The 1975

Abbie Thompson, Contributing Writer

The 1975 return to their signature synth-pop roots on their latest single “I’m In Love With You,” released ahead of the forthcoming album, “Being Funny In A Foreign Language.” This sickeningly sweet summer song blends the signature tangy guitar sounds of the band’s previous records with Fleetwood Mac-esque synths to create their most wedding-friendly song yet. Feelings of first crushes and anxious confessions swell through the lyrics as Matty Healy croons, “Yeah, there’s something I’ve been meaning to / Say to you, baby / But I just can’t do it.” The accompanying music video features a dancing Healy in full clown makeup and includes a cameo from fellow musician Phoebe Bridgers. This summery single might shape up to be the band’s first radio hit in years and will have you humming “I’m in love with you, I- I- I- I- I-” nonstop. 

“Sting” by FLETCHER

Yas Akdag, Music Editor

Over the summer, FLETCHER teased, then dropped a new single called “Becky’s So Hot.” The response was an explosion on queer TikTok, as drama ensued between FLETCHER and her ex-girlfriend, YouTuber Shannon Beveridge. The Becky in question was none other than Beveridge’s current girlfriend, Becky Missal. FLETCHER’s follow-up single, “Sting” — the last ahead of her forthcoming debut album, “Girl Of My Dreams” — is less controversial and instead imbued with nostalgia, regret, pain and a twinge of jealousy. The song begins with rhythmic electric guitar strums, as FLETCHER quietly sings, “XO, do you ever miss me?” and “Don’t you wish I was your girlfriend still?” (The answer is no, if you were wondering.) By the pre-chorus, FLETCHER soars, belting “And it hits me like a missile in my heart again / Don’t you start again, in my heart again,” before she takes off into the buoyant chorus. “Sting” exemplifies FLETCHER’s masterful pop songwriting and her producers’ electropop expertise, fueling further anticipation for her album’s release.

“Bigger Than Me” by Louis Tomlinson

Candace Patrick, Staff Writer

Louis Tomlinson joins the newly reinvigorated pop-rock scene in his latest single “Bigger Than Me,” the first off his recently announced sophomore album “Faith in the Future.” The former One Direction member also pays homage to some of his Britpop predecessors like Oasis and Blur by opening with a soft guitar riff before erupting into a hearty belt in the chorus. Tomlinson sings, “I know I took a left / Tryna make it right / All of these voices, all of these choices / I don’t hear them anymore,”  demonstrating a thoughtful change in his perspective regarding the burdensome judgment of others. The natural scenery in the track’s music video allows for a contemplative visual to accompany Tomlinson’s introspective lyrics as he wanders through mountain ranges and dramatically gazes upon the flames of a fire. The song’s message is emphasized by the vast landscapes that exemplify his main message: “Now I realize that the world outside / Is bigger than me.” Both the lyrics and the sonics of “Bigger Than Me” suggest that the track is a type of musical catharsis for the artist, releasing him from the shackles of self-doubt and allowing him to live freely. This is Tomlinson’s first release since his 2020 solo debut album “Walls.”

“Smells Like Me” by Charlie Puth

Amy Wang, Contributing Writer

New Jersey singer Charlie Puth creates an upbeat ambiance in his latest revenge-seeking single “Smells Like Me.” Diverging from the darkness of his previous release “I Warned Myself” and the nostalgia of “See You Again,” Puth displays his ability to produce songs of all ranges. “Smells Like Me” opts for more of a Harry Styles vibe. In the pre-chorus, he confidently belts, “Tell me do you ever miss me when I’m gone / Wonderin’ what body I’ll be on / We can reconsider if you want / Baby don’t forget about me ever.” However, Puth’s most fervent request involves the song’s title, rounding off the chorus with “I hope your jacket smells like me.”

Contact the Music Desk at [email protected].