In an effort to contribute her own voice to a growing movement of revolution, vocalist and guitarist Katie Harkin has formed an all-star team to come together for a cover of Comsat Angels’ 1980 track “Independence Day.”
With an atmosphere as volatile as now, Harkin’s celebration of every person’s right to speak out seems particularly poignant. For “Independence Day,” Harkin joins forces with Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint and Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts. Harkin is currently a member of the Leeds indie rock outfit Sky Larkin and a touring member of Sleater-Kinney. She is also embarking on a solo project dubbed Harkin; Wasner and Mozgawa are both featured on Harkin’s first official full-length record, projected to be completed within the next several months.
While recording in LA, the group had the chance to take part in the Women’s March and included footage from the day into the video of their recording session for “Independence Day.” The one-shot supergroup stays true to the 1980 original, with its distinct synths and serious vocal delivery. The song still maintains a certain freshness though, thanks to its unmistakable relevance and the musicians’ passion behind it.
“I’ve had the chorus of this song rattling round in my head since Brexit: ‘I can’t relax cause I haven’t done a thing /And I can’t do a thing cause I can’t relax,’ Harkin said, going more in-depth about what led her to cover “Independence Day.” “I wanted to kick-start the year with an act of creative collaboration, and Sheffield’s Comsat Angels’ anxiety anthem with its metaphors of international diplomacy felt crushingly apt. It happened to be the day of the Women’s March in Los Angeles, we were working in a studio downtown so (we) walked up before we started recording. It was such a moving spectacle to behold and an incredibly galvanising way to start the day of working with some of my favourite people. It was also a treat to follow in David Hockney’s footsteps as a Yorkshire bottle-blonde in LA and to be able to sing a song in my own accent.”
Watch the video and an interview of the collaborators below.