Björk - Thunderbolt (music video)

By Xeni Jardin

[Video Link]

Boing Boing is proud to present an exclusive debut: the video for Björk's "Thunderbolt," from her new album, Biophilia.

Björk tells us:

Am playing live shows in reykjavik at the moment. Here comes a recording of thunderbolt live. Please please, do me a favour and use headphones or proper speakers when you listen.



You can buy the new record here. Tour dates here.

VIDEO CREDITS: Director: thirtytwo. Producer: Dan Bowen. Production Company: Pulse Films.

(Editor's Note: The record label has geo-blocked the video. They explain that this is because they do not have worldwide rights to the content. This is a bummer. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have problems viewing. We apologize. There are crafty workarounds.—XJ)

Published 11:00 am Wed, Nov 2, 2011

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About the Author

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email:

69 Responses to “Björk - Thunderbolt (music video)”

  1. Love it! Especially the beat-driven tesla coil. And the fro, of course.

  2. jeligula says:

    Bjork is the most wonderful weirdo our planet has to offer.  And very brave, wearing that hair that close to electrical discharges.  I have the Logitech Z313 speaker system with a subwoofer and Realtek digital audio drivers.  I hope that will satisfy her.

  3. Jamie Sue says:

    It’s got a nice sci-fi feel to it.  

  4. nosehat says:

    The record label has geo-blocked the video. This is a bummer.

    Perhaps this is a naive question, but why can’t Boing Boing make “not geo-blocked” a requirement for the music videos that you negotiate to promote?

    PS:  Thanks for bringing us this one!

  5. Aaron Swain says:

    I heard she was using a Tesla coil in conjunction with the arpeggios in live performance. I was just expecting one a bit…..bigger.

  6. SSKomik says:

    Kinda dumb to have a video aimed at promoting something international, then not letting most of the world see it.

    I guess Bjork wasn’t planning on selling anything in Canada, then.

  7. digithed says:


  8. johngoad says:

    Great Song … I like it even better that it is an exclusive at my favorite blog thingy.

  9. Aaron Swain says:

    Leave it to Björk to bring back the disco wedge.
    Take that, Diana Ross!

  10. The video you are trying to watch cannot be viewed from your current country or location.

    But I am on the internet, goddammit.

  11. awjt says:

    You know Bjork personally???  Christ, that’s just plain awesome.

  12. Dale says:

    Still operating on the outer edges of the musical frontier….thankfully…… 

  13. mattxblack says:

    By the time they’ve un-geoblocked the video I’ll have doubtless forgotten about this it and will never get to see it.

  14. I agree with a poster above, it would be nice if BoingBoing would only host non geo-locked content (at least music videos, it’s more understandable for some video content).

    At least tell us where it isn’t geolocked so we can circumvent it with minimal effort.

    Although I don’t like Bjork, so this is a bit of an unjustified rant…

  15. manicbassman says:

    ah yes… Geo-Blocking… that is so last century thinking from these dinosaurs…

    They just don’t get it do they…

  16. benher says:

    Geo-cock-blocked. Again. Boo!

  17. wildemar says:

    How is this rant unjustified because you don’t like Björk? Surely you’re not trying to say that region blocking of content is OK for things you don’t like. ;)

    Also: Boo! Most uncool. This might have been the video that made me buy the album. Too bad I couldn’t watch it (Germany), so we’ll never know.

    edit: This was meant to be a reply to Nathan Hornby above. Not sure why that didn’t take.

  18. Neil Bruder says:

    While I completely agree it’s incredibly lame to geo-block it’s also trivial to circumvent so there’s no reason anyone should miss seeing this just because they’re not in the US.

  19. Bjork gets a lot of grief for being weird (when is that ever really a bad thing as an artist?), and i find her songs to be beautiful, unique and meaningful. There are a lot of amazing artists from her side of the world that share a lot of these same qualities, whenever i’m having a tough day i listen to Bjork and the like (:

  20. gunblade_09 says:

    who cares about the block just watch the vid somewhere else !STFU this about the song not the blocking ! the artist not the label!

  21. Aeryche says:

    For those that don’t mind bending the rules, Tunnelbear will get you access to the video. just download it and click the “i’m in the US” slider. your web browser will think you’re in the US and can see this video.

  22. Susan Carley Oliver says:

    I’m glad BoingBoing made the decision they did.   This way at least some of us can experience bjork’s latest efforts.

    Craving miracles over here.

  23. Marc Wirbeleit says:

    Geoblocking happens on different levels. Just one example: If you’re in Germany, you can’t watch Garbage’s videos on their own YouTube channel, not because the band or the record company don’t want you to watch the videos but because Gema, a German publishing rights organization, has blocked them after YouTube refused to pay Gema 1 cent per playback AND hand over a detailed list of every playback of every song played back to a German IP.

  24. Had to go back and listen to Sugar Cubes “Birthday”. A couple of times. Icelandic version too.

  25. Donald Petersen says:

    Is that an Icelandic thing, to offer “warmth” as a salutation?  It’s nice and all, but it seemed especially poignant coming from, y’know, an Icelander.  Kinda like hearing “stay cool” from a Phoenician.

  26. Teller says:

    Not her best effort. But she continues to have a stunning voice.

  27. Guido says:

    Greetings from Chile, where I can’t see the video either.

  28. Hirsty says:


  29. spejic says:

    In protest, I am purposefully listening to the song on improper speakers.

  30. Daniel says:

    The costumes, beats, and stage dressings change, but the melodies stay the same.
    Björk: rehashing since 1989.

    • freemoore says:

      Everyone creative ever: rehashing everything that went before all of them since forever.  I’m sure I’ve read your comment before somewhere.

  31. Terry Border says:

    Waited patiently for everyone to pull off the skin that covered their heads like in “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”. Didn’t happen. :(

    Still like her though.

  32. Improbus Liber says:

    Is she a vampire?  She doesn’t seem to have aged in 20 years.

  33. millie fink says:

    Good stuff, but maybe she spent too much time with Matthew Ritchie?

    I’d love to see Bjork get back in touch with her growling howling sensuality.

  34. 10xor01 says:

    I’m convinced Bjork is part Fairy.  Iceland is still remote enough that there may be a few of the fair folk hanging on.

  35. Mike Marlett says:

    What? Rosanna Rosanna Danna can sing?

  36. James C. says:

    There are no words!  Here’s to Bjork and her message of love!  I can’t wait to see her around CA, USA! No!  I really can’t!  Really!!!  :)

  37. digideth says:

    WOW I can not wait till she comes to St. Louis and performs this live in front my two eyes. WOW!

  38. bombastinator says:

    I would like to caption this photo “HELP!  I’m trapped in the ass of a musk ox!”

  39. Amelia_G says:

    THANK YOU! One of the great benefits of the internet is that you can watch Björk videos now. Well I remember listening to my bright green Sugar Cubes cassette over and over, wondering.

  40. JhmL says:

    Music of the Universe – but not in Finland, among other places on Earth, I see.  *snicker*

  41. kongcarlos says:

    Why does this have to be blocked in Scandinavia…

  42. scotchmi_st says:

    Hey kids! Don’t stress out about the geo-blocking. Just use a proxy or a vpn. The internet views censorship as damage, and routes around it.

    I was at one of the Manchester concerts where (I’m guessing) this was recorded. It was utterly magical. Thunderbolt is a beautiful song. One of my favourate of her’s.

  43. cassandra says:

    Beautifle as always.

  44. ndrake says:

    Is there a way to watch this fullscreen?

  45. Lobster says:

    Bjork has assimilated Carrot Top!

  46. serpent says:


  47. Marina says:

    Cannot be watched from France …… :-(

  48. Carlos Ayala says:

    Not available for my country. =(

  49. While I’ve been on a BJORK, YOUR RECENT CATALOG IS NOT FUN OR ENTERTAINING I WANT HAPPY POPPY TRACKS kinda tirade lately, THIS IS an amazing adventure in Audiophilia!!!!! I’m an Audiophile on a low budget, and this sounded BRILLZ on my Koss Port-a-pro headphones! <3 

  50. hogan says:

    i like bjork… have for many years.
    would have liked seeing the boingboing exclusive debut!
    but i’m in canada.
    i think boingboing shouldn’t post stuff like this. if we all can’t access it then no one should.
    there. i said it. off my soapbox.

  51. dculberson says:

    I have to admit that I disrespected her wishes at first and listened to it on my laptop.  It was enjoyable.  Then I realized my mistake and hooked it to my Klipsch system with 15″ subwoofer.  Holy hell that is amazing.  Thank you Björk!

  52. arteyephoto says:

    First requirement of The Enlightened Boing Boing Reader’s Code of Useful Things / Easy Hacks to Know: just spoof your ISP using FoxyProxy to pretend you’re where you’re needed to be, in order to view whatever you wish to see.  Love this vid.  Signed, Canadian Guy whom the Internet Thinks He’s in Burbank, CA, via, port 80.

  53. illicitizen says:

    Holding out for a SugarCubes reunion tour.

  54. gardenburger says:

    Interesting. Can’t view it in Canada. *Sigh*… tired of these virtual borders.

  55. flyingmonkey says:

    I love Bjork. However, given BB’s politics and vehement opposition to digital locks, geoblocks and other restraints to the sharing of work like this, BB really should no endorse geoblocked products. And neither should Bjork for that matter. I am pretty sure she is not in favour.

  56. paulj says:

    This has been up for three days, and no love for the Biophilia iPhone app? You should use good headphones for that too. It’s the full album, plus lyrics, scores and games that go along with the songs. The game that comes with Thunderbolt is really cool. You can play along with the song by adding your own arpeggiated thunderbolts and electrical static percussion. Time it right, and you’re playing in a Bjorkian version of Rock Band. If that doesn’t seal the deal for you, the introduction to the album is narrated by David Attenborough.

  57. oswarez says:

    Come on! I’m from Iceland and I can’t watch an Icelandic artist? FIALZ!