‘Girl’ is out now.
Bed. is a pretty apt name for this slow-fi trio from Portland, Oregon. Theirs is a sound that is imbued with a laid-back slacker vibe that is as comfortable as your favourite pair of house pants and slippers. Over the last couple of years they’ve released a succession of chunky and dreamy singles, such as Overblown favourite ‘The Rule’, that culminated in the release of the Klickitat EP last June.
Their latest track is called ‘Girl’. Continuing their penchant for a relaxed pace and easy melodies, the track will serve as the first single from the trio’s upcoming debut LP which was produced by Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Quasi, Jason Lytle) at Jackpot! Recording Studio in Portland last winter.
We were pretty intrigued as to what the song was about, so we spoke with bed. vocalist/guitarist Sierra Haager all about that jazz. She’s good people.
1. My Mom
I wrote this song about wishing I could shield the women I love from the world’s impossible expectations of what it is to be a modern woman (professionally equal, subservient sexually + emotionally, non-threatening, skinny as ever, hairless, and airbrushed at all times, but effortlessly so) and the violence of men.
As a teenager, I watched my mom bend over backwards to appease her partner, a charismatic alpha-hippie type who, after a decade of expecting her to cook, clean, and take care of his kids, her two kids, the kids of his drug-addict brother, and a house full of tree-sitter transients, left her for a much younger woman when she was unable (despite several attempts) to give him an open relationship.
I’ve watched my closest female friends run circles around their male counterparts professionally, creatively and intellectually, while they develop eating disorders in efforts to better appeal to a generation of men who still aren’t super clear on what a clitoris is. In the world of music, I don’t know very many women who aren’t the survivors of sexual violence or emotional abuse.
3. Getting Out
Last year was the second year of my marriage to Alex. In a lot of ways, I started to unpack myself emotionally from being more or less on my own for a long time. Having a nurturing partner and a stable home environment began to illuminate for me the subtle and not-so-subtle anxieties of being a woman in the outside world. I began to see clearly for the first time the endless conveyor belt of varied bullshit women must constantly, gracefully navigate in order to survive.
I discovered that living in an environment in which my value wasn’t constantly being called into question began to melt away a lot of my depression, which created some space for me to just be. I wrote this song from a place of wanting to be able to give women, especially young women, some of the peace that I was beginning to feel.
I know a lot of exceptional women who reject the expectations placed on them by society, and I count myself among them. But doing so takes a lot of energy. What I’m sort of daydreaming about in this song is a world where women (of all kinds) are lovingly given equal expectations and equal respect, rather than having to demand it.
My favorite tool for songwriting is repetition. I like building familiarity with a melody and then offering slight variations. I think it’s a cool way of growing a theme into new spaces while continuously rewarding the listener. My favorite melodic variations are slight timing variations that hardly change the phrase.
There’s repetition with slight variation all over this song: in the lyrics, the main guitar line, everything.
5. Sonic Youth
The picking pattern on guitar in the verse is a play on something that shows up in a lot of Sonic Youth songs, especially on the album Dirty. I almost never play straight-forward chords on guitar because Alex is usually playing full bass chords. My goal is always to make sure that whatever I write for the verses and choruses either plays rhythmically with the melody or adds fairly inconspicuous texture without too much redundancy.
Grab ‘Girl’ via Bandcamp.
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