As a Madonna fan, I couldn’t enjoy her last comeback, Madame X, more. My icon was finally releasing a world music album. Living in Portugal connected her to great musicians, and she got inspired by these contacts. Then, she just translated everything she learned into her pop language. Done! Magic! 2020 has been a hard year for all of us. The virus came to erase our normal lives and turned them into an apocalyptic Netflix show. Even all the conspiracy theories and ideas about global government control we watched in Black Mirror might be just around us while we keep on living this new way. Madonna already wrote in Dark Ballet: “They are so naive/They think we are not aware of their crimes/We know, but we are just not ready to act/The storm isn’t in the air, it’s inside of us” and in another song of Madame X entitled God Control, she went further: “Everybody knows the damn truth/Everybody knows the damn truth (Wake up)”. However within this dark mood, there is something incredible and bright about 2020 and that’s music. Lido Pimienta is a Colombian-Canadian musician, a queer feminist who has become famous for her traditional indigenous and Afro-Colombian musical style that works with modern touches of sythnpop and electronic. In Nada, the song I’m recommending you today, she mixes her roots with contemporary music, more world music to my ears. The video is also a masterpiece, with the tribute to Frida Kahlo.
Lido became known when she got the Canadian Polaris Music Prize for La Papessa, if you haven’t heard it, I would recommend you to start with the strong and beautiful song Fornicarte es un arte, that means fckin you is an art. If La Papessa meant she was in the map, I think that in her new album Miss Colombia though, there is a deeper approach to her past that can put her under the spotlight definitely. Lido has said Miss Colombia is a “cynical love letter to Colombia”. The beauty she presents in these new songs is extraordinary and music critics have already showed their approval: NME: 8/10, Pitchfork: 8/10, The Needle Drop: 8/10, Rolling Stone: 8/10 and so on. This record is a 10/10 for me. It evokes many emotions.
There is a curious story about the cover of this album that I would like to tell you. She presents herself as the gayest Miss Colombia ever. This image is also part of the concept and storyline of the album. In 2015, Steve Harvey mistankenly announced that Miss Colombia was the New Miss Universe, instead of Miss Philippines who was the real winner. The moment was terrible and it got viral. Her people in Colombia loving this beauty contest protested against the incident, and online racist comments pointed at the presenter and at Miss Philippines too. Lido wasn’t proud of this reaction. And here, I must agree with her. I sometimes feel that the only way we can change this world is through empathy, we often let our own fights to be in a sort of ranking with other people’s ones. It’s just not good. If we stopped for a second, and imagined ourselves in other people’s skin, maybe…just maybe. I know this last stuff sounds a bit naive, but just had to say it. I think empathy is the only way in 2020.
My second fave song in the album is No Pude. It’s so solid and edgy. It reminds me to Rosalía and Björk. I think Lido possesses the same kind of magic these two singers have shown in their music, she also keeps her culture and translates it into the mainstream, she decodes her traditions and makes it sound modern and playlist friendly. Like Daft Punk did with Giorgio Moroder in the song Giorgio, Lido intruduces Rafael Cassiani Cassiani in a spoken interlude telling the story of Palenque’s Sexteto Tabalá. Another way of showing respect to the musicians that have inspired her production and sound.
Before you listen to Lido, I would like you to check my list of the best albums of 2020 so far, just my choices. I’m sure you can find some gems and you will agree with me that 2020 is just fab! If we talk about music.
(Song recommendation by Seigar)