Björk | Declare Independence

April 26, 2007 at 5:53 am (Bjork, mp3s)


I generally don’t write about single tracks that I can’t post mp3s of, but I have to make an exception here. Those of you who’ve heard Volta know why. Those of you who haven’t, you’re in for a shock when you hear the album’s ninth track, ‘Declare Independence’. A few weeks ago, I started hearing reports from people who’d heard ‘Declare Independence’ live. Some loved it, and some hated it, but they both described it in essentially the same way; aggressive and noisy.


Yesterday I finally heard ‘Declare Independence’, and I doubt anything could have properly prepared me for it. “Noisy” doesn’t even begin to describe this track; heavy drums, buzzsaw synths, distorted guitars, and guttural, screaming vocals turn this into the most cacophonous Björk track I’ve ever heard. But cacophonous doesn’t always mean bad; in this case, it actually means brilliant. All the noise melds into a superb dance beat, and the simple, chant-like lyrics work their way into your subconscious, until you’re unknowingly repeating them along with Björk.


Declare Independence is going to be the most controversial track on Volta; it’s probably going to be the most controversial Björk track ever. So far there’s a very clean split between fans. Some love it, some hate it, but barely any don’t feel strongly about it one way or the other. No matter how much I’d love to be the one to let you hear this track for the first time, I can’t be. So, instead, I’ll give you the closest thing I can think of; Homogenic‘s ‘Pluto’. The two songs share the same basic ideas, but Pluto still can’t quite describe Declare Independence properly. You’ll have to wait to hear it before that happens.


Björk – Pluto.mp3 [From Homogenic]



  1. Luask said,

    i listened to it yesterday. After reading positive responses saying they “loved Declare indrependence” i was in shock when i discovered it wasn’t the catchy song i imagined. I think this song will grow on me. It’s one of those songs that you dont notice at first, but after the single becomes annoyingly familiar, it becomes your new favorite

  2. bj said,

    My first impression when I first hear DECLARE was – Holy Crap! I will never be able to listen to this when the boyfriend’s around! I emailed the tune to a good buddy, and within a few minutes – his email response was: “Holy F**K – amazing – but my boyfriend is yelling at me to never play it again while he’s around!”

  3. Chris said,

    Yeah, I can’t say I like the song too much but I’m willing to give it five or ten more listens! Always have faith in Björk!

  4. ombulin said,

    all i can say this is “fxxking high” !!!

    its over hyper!!! over the edge !!!

  5. travis said,

    this album rocks and “declare independence” is the albums pressure valve. if fans don’t like pluto, they surely will not like this track. I however think it’s genius. it brought the house down at coachella when she played this at the end of the show. the ENTIRE polo field was jumping and screaming. Way to go, lady.

    “don’t let them do that to you”

  6. Josh said,

    wow. this song is beyond amazing. and beyond anything she’s ever done before, in my opinion. anyone who’s ever felt put upon, or halted, or taken advantage of, or not heard….this song is for you. it’s so powerful, even with such simple mundane lyrics. it’s a call to arms. and it’s not surprising to me to hear that it’s either love it or hate it among most people. that’s the state of the world we now live in. and that’s what makes this song so wonderful to me. it’s angry. it’s strong. it’s powerful.

  7. arbjork said,

    i was at coachella music festival when she played this song as an encore, she just returned to play this song and ended the concert but anyways its so noisy and so powerful, it was so crazy. I was so surprised because i didnt know any song from volta but earth intruders because the album was leaked while i was on my way to CA. So i got a very wonderful surprise when she came back to play this song at the very end.. Nothing compares yet to this presentation…Unluckily she doesnt go that much to texas or mexico (never been here in her whole carreer)

  8. Anders said,

    I wonder if Björk is gonna play “Declare Independence” at Roskilde in Denmark?? How is that gonna work?

  9. Liam said,

    Personally I’d have loved it if Volta was a bit more rough like D.I. Shes done an awsome job on it!

  10. ikeylous said,

    She’ll be in Texas in Sept for Austin City Limits Festival. Whoohoo….

  11. Toni said,


  12. Toni said,

    Ho diré un altre VOLTA:

    (cause Catalonia is not spain)

  13. Ningu said,

    Anda Toni que ya te vale, a qué viene eso?

  14. Chaz said,

    YO! I just posted a few mixes of declare independence b/c i heart this song the mostest

    enjoy! cheers

  15. stevie said,

    Declare Independence-will gewt to no.1 wen it is released as a single-amazing tune-the best song i heard in yonks.

  16. stevie said,

    Declare Independence-will get to no.1 wen it is released as a single-amazing tune-the best song i heard in months.

  17. helen said,

    Best song of the year, and for the moment my number 1 favourite of Björk.
    I saw her performing it live, I heard it for the first time and I didn’t know what was happening. The bass! I almost blew away, such a terrifying power.

  18. Angela said,

    I must say it is one of my favorites on the album. It reminds me of punk rock in a sense and is completely an anthem for embracing your culture or yourself for that matter.. Whatever your territory is -gaurded and pure be it yourself or your land.
    I also think it’s even easier to listen ,or get into than pluto is.

  19. Mike said,


  20. frith said,

    i saw the video for the 1st time just fifteen minutes ago…
    it captured my attention

    i feel the more i hear this song ill keep discovering the layers within the song and the video….

  21. Idetrorce said,

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  22. dusty forman said,

    i dont not like the lyrics, but i do like bjork and the sound this single makes.

  23. Gang green Garreth said,

    I f**king hate, there is absolutely no point to this song, it overly loud and gives me a feeling that i have just been attacked, first time i heard it i s**t my pants. Maybe Bjork should release a album especially for children, nursery rymes or something

  24. Mario said,

    Damn colonists… ignore their patronizing!

    I knew that Bjork was gonna piss a lot of people off by playing this song in certain countries. I wonder if they Chinese bothered at all to listen to Bjork’s album – surely if they had they would not have let her play. She’ll probably piss off Russians, and Spaniards, and Turks, and Indonesians too, if she ever plays in those places.

  25. Zoran Popovic said,

    Ok, I was truly, very, very fond of Bjork’s work up to this song. Now I feel said, betrayed, confused. I will get on somehow, but it feels like a limb of mine being amputated – they say that when you have an amputated limb, in your dreams you still have one, and many times during the day you still act like it is there. I still act like that about Bjork, about one of my most favourite music author’s and songwriters. It used to be one of my dearest, now it is not. I don’t see how can I overcome this. She made statements about China and western ethical standards about freedom of speech and choice.
    I live in Serbia, I was born in Serbia, a former Yugoslav country. I used to live some years abroad in my childhood, but now I have family of my own, my parents are not alive for many years, my sister is seriously ill – not that it has to do with former moral standards, but I am the only to support many mouths living on the edge of poverty. I am a postgraduate, I have never hated any nation by default and I never will, I almost never personally knew anyone who did – but I will hate and I do hate only those individuals who hurt me or people dear to me. Western moral standards about former Yugoslavia were at least double – selling arms to both sides, accusing the strongest side in order to efficiently divide and conquer, when all sides in a bloody civil war share crimes and pretty equal responsibility. On the other hand, some of the main culprits like Hashim Tachi escape the hand of the justice easily ! It turns into a bigger mess day by day. I am standing for punishment of all responsible people, even of my own, but things are not set that way by current super-powers, while United Nations crumble trying to survive grim days and moments induced by these and similar events. I hate history, though I am trying to be aware of my background and origins, I find this all more and more completely meaningless and absurd (many poets, writers and other artists felt through ages the same ache, let’s call it weltschmertz).
    I think that Bjork made a wonderful commercial act and marketing initiative, but not for humane purposes or freedom and ethical standards. I think people do such things mostly just for two reasons: to make more money (and betray people who love or even admire them), or because they are deeply mislead. But, concerning earlier Bjork’s work, unfortunately I think she is not that infant, shallow and mislead …

  26. Zoran Popovic said,

    Yeah, many artists have to be understood separately from their work … I should have said (un)fortunately in the last sentence …

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