“Declare Independence” is a song written and recorded by Icelandic singer Björk. The track was released as the third single from her seventh full-length studio album, Volta. The single was released on January 1, 2008. Björk’s dedication of the song to various independence causes at live performances of the song in Shanghai and Tokyo have caused controversy.
The song was originally an instrumental track by British musician and frequent musical collaborator Mark Bell, performed at his live shows as early as November, 2006. Björk later added her vocals and brass arrangement on top. The lyrics are dedicated to the Faroe Islands and Greenland, islands which currently are constituent nations within the kingdom Denmark, as Björk’s home country of Iceland had been.
Declare Independence was originally meant to be released as the second single from Volta in August, 2007, but due to the worldwide success of the album Björk had to perform more international promotion work than her label One Little Indian had originally planned, meaning that the previously-planned video shoot for “Declare Independence” with Michel Gondry in London couldn’t take place. The deadline for the music video contest for “Innocence” (then slated as the third single) was then brought forward a month to June 10, 2007 so as to provide a finished video able to coincide with a July, 2007 release originally planned for Declare Independence.