Audrey’s, bitingly titled “The Ballad of Lora & Ellen & Yes All Men” tells the all too familiar story of two gal pals up against a world of shitty dudes, circumscribed by everyday microaggressions and normalized acts of violence that include street harassment, “casual” groping, and assault. The settings the characters have to navigate are discouraging, infuriating, and too real, but the refrain “fuck men” and the subnarrative of care and queer intimacy are a comfort.
April Mei’s song, “Damage/Control” is less overt, opting to poetically navigate similarly disquieting themes including alcohol consumption, boundary crossing and rape culture. Lines like “Let’s talk about how small I am / subwoofed against a wall” paint sinister party scenes, and the core of the song comes in a tailspin of a bridge full of justice-hungry inquisition: “who’s old enough to buy the booze / whose bruises show whose shame is whose / what poison do I have to purge / to unlearn unlearn unlearn unlearn / who gets to protect who / from all the things we’ve seen men do?”
The first releases and content warnings on the bandcamp indicate that this record is prepared to delve into deep trauma, but the title and warm notes suggest it’s not without an eye towards healing.