Tristen recently released a video for “Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow” off her latest album, Sneaker Waves. We featured this track back in September on Volume 91 of the podcast so we’re glad to see the song getting the official video treatment (We’re fans).
Along with the video is a lengthy, and informative, essay from Tristen over on BUST Magazine that explores the continuing limitations of women in both pop culture and the wider world. This bit in particular struck me:
Only within the last 100 years, humans have establish widespread radio communication, the television, and finally, in the last 30 years or so, the internet, which for the first time allows instant communication between the users of the technology. According to the Nielsen report, each day, Americans are immersed in their screens for about 5 hours of television, an hour on the internet, and three hours of radio. These screens most likely show images of women created in the tradition of men’s fiction. In all of this, sadly, the rare, oversimplified depictions of women, usually in relationship to men, are hypnotic mirrors for men, too.
And as a great leveler and oppositional reaction, I can swear off male artists forever, but this feels like the tool of the oppressor, just further dividing and reacting, and it feels too simple. How can I become the change I want to see while men’s art is within me still? It flows in the conversation of consciousness, my mimicry, and therefore, my creations. The only solution I can see is to reveal the concealed conversations through my work.
It can be difficult to connect the dots between Tristen’s insightful essay and the depiction of a self-harming male protagonist wallowing in his solitude (clearly yearning for the girl at the bar) but it’s easy to take a moment and give it all some thoughtful consideration. Does the fact that the lyrics are sung by a woman change the message? How would you feel about the video if the lead was female? At the end of the day, the song is a great listen and there’s an open door here to consider a larger context – both great things.