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7/16/18:
Serious beat

For Esme is more than Martha Meredith, but this set makes it pretty clear that she is fully-entrenched behind the wheel. Her voice saturates this set of conceptual electronic pop, lending her power to the propulsive anthems.



For Esme
Righteous Woman
(self-released)

The press pushes the idea of this as "feminist pop" pretty hard, which strikes me as an interesting marketing tactic. Certainly, the pieces on this album portray a woman who is beginning to appreciate her power and place in society. The first track, "To Love", sounds to me like the voice of woman who has just figured out that she has a say in her love life. In other words, it doesn't matter how much someone else loves you if you don't love them back.

Which is less feminist than simply human, really, but in our patriarchal society the idea might seem radical to some. I'm a terrible judge of such things, having grown up in a feminist household in the 70s. The notion that women have the same abilities as men isn't simply dogma; it's imprinted on my DNA. But I recognize that some take a while to come around. Righteous Woman isn't so much about educating the troglodytes as it is simply a woman celebrating what was already her birthright. It's the story of an awakening, not triumph.

The triumph may come later. This album is an often mesmerizing whirl of electronic melodies and beats stitched together with Meredith's taut voice. Despite the seriousness of the themes explored, these are dance songs. Those possibly opposing ideals are easily fused here. Indeed, the effortless feel of these songs is one of their great appeals. Take as much as you like from the lyrics; the music satisfies on its own. Worth the dive.