Biophilia is one of 2011′s best releases, even without the Apps, invented instruments, live shows, educational workshops, etc. The songwriting itself is sharp, the feel immediate and enveloping. But I didn’t listen to it until after Björk and I sat down for the following discussion, which is fitting: To this point, the concepts surrounding her seventh studio record have been the focus, not what that record will or could sound like. The Biophilia project consists of five parts: The album, the Apps, the live shows, a 90-minute Biophilia documentary background, process, etc., and her new website. The concept, or at least part of it: Björk has collaborated with app developers, scientists, writers, inventors, musicians and instrument makers to create a unique multi-media exploration of the universe and its physical forces – particularly those where music, nature and technology meet. The project is inspired by and explores these relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena, from the atomic to the cosmic.Non-spoiler alert: I respect her desire to surprise folks, so I’m not going to describe the sound here. Plus, the following interview is much more concerned with how Biophilia came about and what went into it. After reading, you’ll know the background and it’s exciting, I think, to have to wait a bit to experience the full results. It’s old-fashioned, right? Which might seem to run counter to Biophilia‘s digital elements, but as Björk mentions in the following exchange, this is more a return to punk and DIY than you might’ve imagined. It’s a return to forms of various sorts.Full Disclosure: Björk and I are friends. I think the relationship was helpful to the interview process — since we’re comfortable with one another, and know how the other person thinks, there’s a certain openness that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. I also avoided any random outside queries and just focused on Biophilia. The Q+A came about when I was asked to write the Biophilia “Artist Notes” by her and her management. In 2007 I interviewed Björk about Volta for Pitchfork then wrote the notes for that collection, too. We spoke again on record for Stereogum’s Enjoyed: A Tribute To Björk’s Post compilation album. Since she and I were sitting down for a couple of hours and recording the conversation, I suggested that in addition to the compressed notes, we run the interview itself.