"Righteous Woman" a new album by For Esmé drops on May 25. “Doubtmouth” her new single moves through the doubt that chokes us, and the labels that shrink us, to find a voice and body that refuses to be quieted.
"I hate confrontation — probably more than anything. Unfortunately, I find it is an unavoidable and increasingly important part of being a woman who stands up for herself. When faced with it, I find I over analyze, overthink, and work too hard to justify my feelings of discontent — full of a fear that I will be labeled too much of something: too confident, too opinionated, too naive, too demanding, a bitch. I’m struck by how much less men seem filled with those same fears in return.
Since studying psychology at Queen’s University, I have always been fascinated by psych studies – especially as they relate to women. I love exploring the scientific basis to an abstract feeling... The resulting relief and comfort in the discovery that I’m not crazy and my experiences are part of a larger and very real picture. My forthcoming LP, Righteous Woman, is a feminist awakening and excavation of the voices within. As I worked to uncover my own internalized misogyny and to interrogate the things I repress and overthink, I simultaneously researched. I read studies about the effects of self-objectification and catcalling, the cultural bias towards female anger, what creates a gender based confidence gap and more. I wanted to explore the themes of trying to be a modern, progressive, open-minded woman, and all the challenges that come along with that, especially that of confronting one’s own privilege. I found the exploration at times painful and isolating -- realizing how much people prefer the comfort of the status quo.
I’ve worked in four, different, all male teams for different jobs, and have many times felt exhausted from the tiptoeing that felt necessary in order to be heard. I repeatedly found that if I spoke the same way the men on my team spoke, I would be treated negatively for being “too confident,” “too outspoken,” or “too combative” – despite these precise traits landing me those positions in the first place. I have experienced being labeled as an “angry woman” first hand, and I am a very level headed person who hates confrontation. Again, I dove into psych studies and found the results disturbing. In a blind test, when men and women promote the exact same opinion assertively to a group (word for word), subjects overwhelmingly shift their opinions to agree with the man when he speaks, and are more likely to push back and oppose the same view from a woman. It was a relief to discover this wasn’t in my head, but it was also incredibly frustrating — if the bias runs that deep in both men and women, how do we overcome it?"
Ali Murray is an ethereal folk songwriter/musician from the cold isle of Lewis in the north of Scotland. He writes dark atmospheric folk music with lush sweeping dreamy soundscapes and Celtic-twinged instrumentation. His new album LAND OF EVERGONE strikes a balance that is intimate and soaring, peaceful and haunting, sad and quietly joyful, delicately reverberating with Murray's dreamy voice and guitar playing.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.