New single from The Regrettes is a rousing call to arms for feminists.
Whether you believe it to be a symptom of patriarchal values or an overreaction to isolated instances of extremism, there is a generalised stereotype that many people hold about feminism. This is particularly true of music, where to dub an artist as being a firm advocate of ‘feminist values’ (because the word equality is seldom granted) is to conjure a particular image: aggressive and preachy vocals with vicious instrumentation and distorted guitars.
That assumption is about to get shattered with The Regrettes and its latest single Seashore, which is a feminist anthem that is long overdue and extremely necessary right now. The single is a tour de force of the greatest aspects of rock over the last two decades, but it also embodies a strictly contemporary spirit. Pop-esque backing vocal melodies strike a contrast with typical rock sounds, while the shuffling rhythms and muted guitars of the verses are more in the vein of indie-alternative than anything else.
The reason for this shift is simple yet effective: to make the track as easily accessible to listeners as possible, thus allowing the song’s strong sentiment to travel further and be more impactful. What The Regrettes understand about music is that the strength of a message doesn’t matter unless it’s reaching people. With that, the band have made a track that — aside from the odd call to “go fuck yourself” if you’re an oppressing patriarch — is palatable and enjoyable to the masses. The guitars are crunchy, but not alarmingly distorted; the sentiment is strong, but the vocals are smooth rather than abrasive. Seashore embodies the contradiction of modern music: that the most scathing attacks and criticism must be delivered with a sugar-coating.
As 2016 has proven thus far to be the year that equality of all sorts appears to be collapsing in on itself, the world needs a band like The Regrettes to make a difference in 2017.