Summary of “”Female” Is Not a Musical Genre-It’s a Strength”

It’s an incredibly romantic declaration, but Mitski has admitted that most of her love songs are not about other people so much as they are about “Music and trying to pursue it and not feeling loved by it. A lot of the ‘yous’ in my songs are abstract ideas about music.” On “A Pearl,” she tells what seems this time like a human “You”: “Sorry I can’t take your touch.” The problem is that she’s been through a war that “Left a pearl in my hand and I roll it around every night, just to watch it glow.” And so our heroine rides solemnly into the sunset, away from the world of flesh and into the realm of creativity, art, and ideas.
Its lyrics are partially a collage of things disbelieving men have said to Camp Cope over the years, about how their success was the result of luck rather than hard work, about how they should book a smaller venue because they might not be able to fill up the room, about how promoters aren’t the ones at fault for booking all-male shows because there “Just aren’t that many girls in the music scene.” Drummer Sarah Thompson was astonished at the breadth of the song when Maq sent her the demo: “I was so impressed Georgia literally rhymed all these things.”
“The Face of God” is one of the most devastating songs the band has ever released, and although Maq wrote it before the #MeToo movement, the recent onslaught of similar stories gives the song a new power.
Nashville-born Allison had been playing guitar her “Whole life” and every summer attended the Southern Girls Rock Camp, where she was free to unleash her inner rockstar-“Every year I would get my hair done up in a mohawk, full-on teased and sprayed up”-she did not feel emboldened to share her songs with other people until college, because she “Didn’t feel like people would take it seriously.” But within a few years recording under the name Soccer Mommy, that has proved untrue.
At its most raging, Allison has said that the record is about “That feeling of wanting to be perfect but not being perfect.” Her songs are alive with the energy of a young woman realizing, after so many years of being constantly told otherwise, her faults are not her fault.
“Mary has a heart of cold, she’ll break you down and eat you whole,” Allison marvels, as friend-crush-struck as Kathleen Hanna is in “Rebel Girl.” “I saw her do it after school-she’s an animal.” Allison sings the song to a boy, but they’re linked in their mutual awe of Mary: “I wanna know her, like you.” It’s the most romantic song on the record.
The songs, she’s said, form “a nice mix of not giving a fuck and giving a fuck,” which feels like as good as any a description of what’s required for a girl who’s alive in the United States in 2018.
Decades of lazy “Women in Rock” articles have polluted the atmosphere so thoroughly that it seems impossible to talk about more than one female artist together without conjuring images of wind machines gently mussing tresses, leather pants, and god-awful adjectives like “Kick-ass.” I don’t want to suggest that all of these bands sound alike, or that they are the only exciting female artists making rock music, or that female is ever, under any circumstance, a genre.

The orginal article.