September 24, 2015

Premiere: Fern Mayo - "Open Work"

Stream a poignant new track from Fern Mayo's debut EP.

A few years ago, there was an article on Rookie titled "Getting Over Girl Hate". It was an eye-opening look at why we feel jealous of other girls and resentment towards them for being better, prettier, smarter, whatever, than ourselves. One of the major issues the piece attributed this shitty phenomena to was the fact that men insist on comparing girls to each other, especially when they feel like women are their competition. It can be easier for men to pit women against each other than accept them as their own peers. In Fern Mayo's newest single, "Open Work", the band also tackles this problem and proves that we can all ~rise above~ these feelings.

"Open Work" is the first song that the band wrote together and will be featured on their upcoming debut EP, happy forever. Fern Mayo, which is fronted by Katie Capri, has always shown immense amounts of promise with her demos and live shows. We're incredibly excited to premiere "Open Work" and we're already counting down the days until we can listen to the whole EP. Katie wrote her own detailed description of the song and writing process, so I'll let her take it away. Listen to "Open Work" below and feel empowered that as ladies, we can all be equally awesome.

Katie Capri on "Open Work":

"lyrics: we were writing this song (the first written together as a band!) it was after a bunch of different men kept continually informing me of stuff going on in the lives of two particular women - women who these men thought i was similar to, either creatively, professionally or in appearance or personality or whatever. some of these comparisons were straight-up intended to incite jealously. some stemmed from an expectation of female competition, particularly in professional pursuits. (one took over a job i'd previously held, another just had a similar styles in writing/music). these comments were always delivered to me in a manner that set me up to respond with resentment or just straight shit-talk. but i didn't resent them. i would just stare at these people (or text messages) like "why are you showing this to me?". it was weird. these two women were actually two people i had immense respect for.i wanted to support their accomplishments with pride and awe but everyone bringing their every move to my attention in this way made me feel too weird to say anything at all ! i realized these comparisons, either made to intentionally manipulate my emotions or as a byproduct of social conditioning, weren't just pitting me against these women but what's worse, they were pitting me against myself... they were turning up the spotlight on the virtues of these girls in such a way that cast *the illusion of* a shadow over any space left for me to succeed, speak or even connect with these rad girls!

song structure: while i was working that all out lyrically, i wanted to use the song structure to intentionally show that something atypical can be just as - if not more - natural than what's dictated by tradition. the parts aren't laid out in a linear verse/chorus repetition -- it's more an oval, which is how it came together. i decided to keep them that way instead of trying to align them with a more traditional structure. just like my instinct that went against falling into the conditioned response *shit talking these chicks who i actually admire* but acting in a way that is unfortunately atypical *continuing to fucking admire them and their work!* is more natural than doing what these men expected of me. 

title: and then, at the end of the song, i realized, through all this shit i am trying to highlight, when i listened out of context, it just sounds like a song about the woes of modern dating lol. so i named it 'open work' in a sideways nod to Umberto Eco's essay / idea that artwork is only activated by the interpretation of the audience. Eco's truly speaking to a sort of specific range of interpretations still controlled or planned by the author or artist of the work, but in my life, i've found that type of artistic/interpretive control less possible and too pedantic. but then again, here i am, still trying to explain the intent of something & set the bounds for its possible interpretations."


Listen to Fern Mayo on bandcamp.

Written by Emily Thompson