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Björk Says ‘Violence’ in the U.S. Contributed to Move Back to Iceland: ‘Too Much for Me’

“The violence in the USA is on a scale I can’t even fathom,” singer says

Björk has cited the epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. as one of the reasons she has retreated back to her native Iceland.

Speaking to Pitchfork ahead of her new album Fossora, Björk revealed that — after decades split living in New York and Iceland — the singer moved back to the latter for good in part because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rash of violence — from mass shootings to incidents of police brutality — that were a constant in the U.S. 

“The violence in the USA is on a scale I can’t even fathom,” Björk said. “And having a daughter that’s half-American in school [in New York], 40 minutes away from Sandy Hook…,” citing the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

Björk continued, “When we are here, I absorb all of Iceland. If one person is killed in the north, we all hurt. It’s an island mentality. In the States, just being a simple islander, all the violence was just too much for me.”

The singer is the latest Europe-born artist to state that America’s gun violence problem as a contributing factor to their move back across the Atlantic: Ozzy Osbourne, now back in England, also recently shared that he was “fed up” with the mass shootings in the U.S.

“Everything’s fucking ridiculous there,” Ozzy said. “I’m fed up with people getting killed every day. God knows how many people have been shot in school shootings. And there was that mass shooting in Vegas at that concert… It’s fucking crazy,” referring to the Route 91 Harvest shooting in 2017, where 60 people were killed.

Bjork’s new album Fossora, her first LP since 2017’s Utopia, arrives on Sept. 30. The singer has previously shared the first single, “Apotos,” from the LP, which was in part influenced by the death of the singer’s mother in 2018.

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