Four years ago, the Colombian-born and Toronto-based artist Lido Pimienta won Canada’s Polaris Prize for her album La Papessa. This week, Pimienta will follow that one up with her new LP Miss Colombia, an album partly named for the famous 2015 gaffe where Steve Harvey messed up and gave the Miss Universe crown to Miss Colombia and then immediately had to correct himself and give it to Miss Philippines. Talking to NPR, Pimienta calls the LP “a cynical love letter to Colombia,” on that digs into her relationship to her homeland from a bunch of different directions.
Pimienta sings in Spanish, so if you don’t speak the language, you may need to do some translating if you want to look for translations if you want to begin to understand what she’s singing about here. (It’s worth understanding.) But even without that understanding, Miss Colombia is a gorgeous and thought-provoking piece of music that draws on a ton of different Afro-Latin musical traditions while still sounding like gorgeous, exploratory pop music.
Pimenta wrote and arranged all of Miss Colombia, and she co-produced it with her collaborator Prince Nifty. We’ve already posted the early singles “Eso Que Tu Haces” and the absolutely stunning “Te Queria,” as well as “Nada,” a collaboration with Bomba Estéreo singer Li Samuet. The whole album demands your attention. Right now, you can stream all of it at NPR.
Miss Colombia is out 4/17 via ANTI-. Pre-order it here.