Tastemaker Gayatri Chaturvedi reviews the latest single from Angie McMahon’s upcoming debut album ‘Salt’, coming out July 26!
“You are in my home now, and I am a woman”: Angie McMahon couples candid storytelling with her characteristically emotive vocals in her latest single – a nod to autonomy and reclaiming ownership of one’s own body and self.
The immensely talented Melbourne-based musician is known for her incredibly versatile voice, as she recurringly demonstrates, with ease, her ability to swiftly traipse between delicate highs to soulful lows within each of her tunes. There’s a warm comfort that accompanies the experience of listening to Angie’s voice- effortless yet indelibly powerful, surging like a rolling wave of water, yet still and tranquil when she wills it to be. Beyond the mesmerising vocals are Angie’s quintessentially revelatory and relatable lyrics as demonstrated in her previous releases, ‘Slow Mover’ and ‘Pasta’. Her latest single ‘And I Am a Woman’ is no different, being a powerful slow-burning battle-cry expressing the anguish and frustration of being made to feel unsafe in your own body. Of her song, Angie details:
“There are all these things that our society teaches us about bodies, spaces, choices, feelings, safety, that we have to question and unlearn and do better with. This song started as a heated conversation, but I had to finish it on my own and make it into music because I didn’t feel like talking, I felt like yelling. I wanted the hurting to be obvious.”
Gently swaying guitar riffs coax listeners into the track, painting a delicately sombre melody driven by resounding pain. With the arrival of her subdued expressive tones, Angie’s conversational lyrics reveal the all-too-familiar discomfort often experienced as a woman, in being objectified, belittled or being disrespected in our own spaces. Despite the gossamer-like nature of the ballad, there is an unwavering powerful energy that smoulders just beneath the exterior of Angie’s vocals as she wearily expresses the exhaustion of constantly being on guard.
“When I am bleeding I don’t feel like speaking/ I’m not your teacher, I am little and I am learning.”
What starts off as a kind of gentle stroll transforms into a powerfully heavy march backed by the surging percussive beats that build in anticipation throughout the track. Marked by her rich, sonorous sound, there’s an eruption of unadulterated emotion and pent up resentment that pours out at she repeatedly declares ‘I am a woman’. The dragging grit of her vocal tones perfectly encapsulates the restrained rage and overwhelming hurt, almost as if she is choking back tears of anger. Aside from being ‘90% spaghetti Bolognese’ as she professes in her website bio, Angie McMahon continues to be one of the greatest singer-songwriters I have had the pleasure of listening to, proven once again by her latest release.
Angie’s debut album ‘Salt’ is available on July 26 and you can grab tickets for her national tour in October here!