In 2017 and women are angrier than ever—and rightfully so. Objectified, sexualized, oppressed and denied bodily autonomy, women across all intersections are up in arms, railing against a patriarchy—and, here in the U.S., a presidency—that would keep them down. On “Violence,” Seattle via London duo FKL captures that mounting frustration to create the ultimate feminist empowerment anthem.
“Wish you had a tolerance for my violence,” vocalist Sage Redman wails in her crystalline tone, opening the track with a pointed statement on the state of women’s rage. The song’s message benefits from a sweeping, cinematic sound featuring flickers of trip-hop and eerie synths, while the Jacob Rosen-directed video, which sees Sage posing quietly alongside a group of diverse women, reflects the ambient, dark mood. Towards the end, the ladies slowly transform from the passive creatures society views them as into active participants, directing their fierce gazes directly into the camera.
Inspired by a feminist book, FKL—also comprised of producer Joe Gillick, who Redman met while attending university in London—provide a bold rallying cry against women’s oppression, nestled in lush sonic soundscape and stunning visual.
“Last Christmas Joe bought me a book called Women in Dark Times by Jacqueline Rose. The book’s essentially an argument for the darkness in a woman’s life being the fuel to her ‘fuck-you’ feminist power,” Redman shares. “I was particularly drawn to a section about Marilyn Monroe and her many philosophies on the intense adulation and objectification she faced in Hollywood. ‘Violence’ began as a series of quotes from Monroe and deals with the dichotomy between a woman’s public and private persona and, more specifically, the expectations that come with each.”
“The song was originally pretty up-tempo and electronic, but we thought it more fitting to strip it down to its bare essentials and embrace the piano ballad,” she adds. “It’s simultaneously a bit of a siren song, a cautionary tale and a call to arms. The video really takes the line ‘We must be alive when looking dead’ and brings it life. This quote from Monroe has an added contemporary meaning to me for many reasons, but particularly because of its connotations when applied to women’s expected online personas in our age of social media.”
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