Hidden Place

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"Hidden Place"
Hidden Place.jpg
Single by Björk
from the album Vespertine
  • "Verandi"
  • "Mother Heroic"
  • "Generous Palmstroke"
  • "Foot Soldier"
Released August 3, 2001
Recorded 2000
Length 5:28 (album version)
4:27 (video version)
4:00 (radio edit)
Label One Little Indian
Songwriter(s) Björk
Producer(s) Björk
Björk singles chronology
"All Is Full of Love"
"Hidden Place"
"Pagan Poetry"
"All Is Full of Love"
"Hidden Place"
"Pagan Poetry"

"Hidden Place" is a song by Icelandic recording artist Björk, taken from her 2001 album Vespertine. It was written and produced by Björk. "Hidden Place" was released as a lead single from Vespertine on August 3, 2001.


In 2000, while Björk worked on the film Dancer in the Dark, she also began producing her next album, writing new music and teaming with new collaborators; she has said "Selmasongs was the day job and Vespertine was the hobby".[3] Her new relationship with artist Matthew Barney and the tension while filming Dancer in the Dark have been referred to as the two major forces that shaped what would become Vespertine.[4] As the process of filming demanded her to be extroverted, the new music she was creating became hushed and tranquil as a way to escape.[4] Björk commissioned Valgeir Sigurðsson to relocate some of his studio equipment from Iceland to Denmark, where Dancer in the Dark was being filmed.[4] While living in Copenhagen she also contacted the electronic musician Thomas Knak (aka Opiate), after having enjoyed his 1999 album Objects for an Ideal Home.[5] Björk's musical taste shifted from the "clang and clatter" and "thumping techno that characterized Homogenic,[6] as she "was bored with big beats".[3]

Björk then set to make a record with a domestic mood featuring "everyday moods and everyday noises translating into melodies and beats,"[6] hence its working title Domestika.[4] As she wanted to write her own songs in music boxes, Björk contacted a music box company, requesting see-through acrylic glass boxes because she wanted it to sound "as hard as possible, like it was frozen."[7] She also began to use her laptop to write music, and decided to use instruments whose sound wouldn't be compromised when downloaded from sites such as Napster.[8] Björk completed: "I had loads and loads of beats for 'Hidden Place' but it still wasn't up enough. Matthew Herbert came for a visit in the studio and offered to do it. He ran away to his studio and came back after a few hours later with a DAT".[9] She explains the song's title:

'Hidden Place' is sort of about how two people can create a paradise just by uniting. You've got an emotional location that's mutual. And it's unbreakable. And obviously it's make-believe. So, you could argue that it doesn't exist because it's invisible, but of course it does.[10]


"Hidden Place" has received positive reviews from music critics. David Fricke of Rolling Stone called it "floating beauty".[11]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Hidden Place" was directed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and co-directed by M/M Paris. It was shot in four days in February 2001 in London.[12] It was originally planned for a song from Selmasongs, but Björk felt the project was more appropriate for Vespertine.[13] The video consists of close-up shots panning around Björk's face, as fluids flow in and out of her facial orifices. M/M Paris explained the concept behind the video: "We always wanted to get as close to her as we could, as we all felt she had never been portrayed as the "real" and beautiful woman she is. This is somehow taboo, to observe a pop star with no makeup from a distance of half an inch. Then the idea of the liquid works as a visualization of all possible emotions pulsating and circulating in her very busy brain. The loop idea was a main point for us as well, trying to extend the usual time frame of pop video super-fast editing, to make it hypnotising, mesmerising and irritating, like an eternally burning fireplace."[13]

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Hidden Place" (edit) – 4:00
  2. "Generous Palmstroke" – 4:26
  3. "Verandi" – 4:28
  1. "Hidden Place" (a cappella) – 5:15
  2. "Mother Heroic" – 2:44
  3. "Foot Soldier" – 2:35
  1. "Hidden Place" (video) – 4:27
  2. "Generous Palmstroke" – 4:26
  3. "Verandi" – 4:28


Credits adapted from Vespertine's liner notes.[14]


Chart (2001) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[15] 54
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[16] 17
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[17] 14
Canadian Digital Songs[18] 16
Denmark (Tracklisten)[19] 19
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[20] 11
France (SNEP)[21] 20
Germany (Official German Charts)[22] 70
Japan (Oricon)[23] 63
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[24] 60
Norway (VG-lista)[25] 19
Spain (AFYVE)[26] 1
Portugal (Portuguese Singles Chart)[27] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[28] 47
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[29] 77
UK Singles (OCC) 21
US Hot Singles Sales[30] 50


  1. ^ Merryweather, David (August 14, 2001). "Single Review: Björk - Hidden Place". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ Dalton, Stephen (July 25, 2001). "Bjork : Hidden Place". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "The Twilight World of Björk". NME. IPC Media. 11 August 2001. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d Pytlik, 2003. p.155
  5. ^ Pytlik, 2003. p.156
  6. ^ a b Pytlik, 2003. p.159
  7. ^ "GH&FT special : Pagan Poetry". bjork.com. Archived from the original on February 27, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  8. ^ Toop, David (September 2001). "The Twilight World of Björk". The Wire. The Wire Magazine Ltd. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  9. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100330164131/http://unit.bjork.com/specials/gh/SUB-11/index.htm
  10. ^ "GH&FT special : Hidden Place". bjork.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/vespertine-20010820
  12. ^ "Vespertine Special". bjork.com. Archived from the original on August 2, 2002. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "GH&FT special : Hidden Place". bjork.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ Vespertine (Media notes). Björk. One Little Indian Records. 2001. 
  15. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Björk – Hidden Place" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Björk – Hidden Place" (in French). Ultratip.
  18. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/286810/bj-rk/chart?f=1186
  19. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Björk – Hidden Place". Tracklisten.
  20. ^ "Björk: Hidden Place" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  21. ^ "Lescharts.com – Björk – Hidden Place" (in French). Les classement single.
  22. ^ "Musicline.de – Björk Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  23. ^ "Discography of Björk". Oricon. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Björk – Hidden Place" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  25. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Björk – Hidden Place". VG-lista.
  26. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  27. ^ "Top40-charts.com". Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Björk – Hidden Place". Singles Top 100.
  29. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Björk – Hidden Place". Swiss Singles Chart.
  30. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales[dead link]

External links[edit]