With pride month underway, art-pop musician Lido Pimienta is celebrating occasion by recording a cover of Bjork’s “Declare Independence” for the LGBTQ community. Stream her take on the classic 2007 single below.
The Grammy-nominated artist laid down the track as part of Spotify’s Pride 2021: Claim Your Space campaign, which encourages the queer community to “make noise, make their presence known, and make their own rules.” Of course, “Declare Independence” is a boisterous rallying cry about seeking justice, and Pimienta felt compelled to cover the song in a way that nodded to queer people around the world in particular who are asking for equality.
In a press release, Pimienta explained why she decided to cover “Declare Independence” in particular, writing, “I chose this song mainly because of the lyrics: ‘Wave your flag, raise your flag, higher higher’ and ‘don’t let them do that to you.’ I heard this song live and I loved how all the immigrants in the audience were waving their flags. The sense of PRIDE we all felt then, I wanted to carry it through with this version, one that would honor my Caribbean roots and the camp of pride but most importantly, a message of love and revolution in togetherness and acceptance. Björk has been an inspiration to me, not only as a singer, but as a composer and producer, so this song is also a *thank you* to her for encouraging womxn like me to not be afraid to create my own sonic universe.”
The original version of “Declare Independence” sees Björk singing atop a distorted industrial beat before eventually breaking out into full-on screams and chants. For her rendition, Pimienta leans into her Colombian-Canadian background by cheerfully singing in both English and Spanish. While she technically rails against colonialism and state-sponsored oppression through words, she incorporates Afro-Caribbean sounds and rhythms that make the song feel like a victorious celebration instead of a demonic uprising. It’s a surprisingly joyful and refreshing take on a powerhouse single, and Pimienta makes it sound wholly unique in the process.
Expect to see more news about Björk later this year. Not only has she been curating a spectacular Sonos Radio station these past few months, but she’s also gearing up to throw an “unplugged” Icelandic concert series in the fall. Plus, she will likely start shooting scenes for Robert Eggers’ new movie The Northman pretty soon. It’s due out in 2022 and will mark Björk’s first film role since starring in the iconic 2000 movie Dancer in the Dark.