Review: Fenne Lily – ‘To Be A Woman Pt.2’

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'To Be A Woman Pt.2' is both a beautiful masterpiece, and a panic attack inducing musical meltdown, and on both counts a new song that deserves some recognition.

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After taking a break from releasing music following her debut album On Hold in 2018, and frequently touring (including a trip to Southampton’s Heartbreakers), Fenne Lily returns with her second track ‘To Be A Woman Pt.2’. This also marks her second track, following comeback single ‘Hypochondriac’, with record label Dead Oceans – the label home to Phoebe Bridgers.

‘To Be A Woman Pt.2’ is a wonderful track, even on initial listen. What stands out about it is how different the track is in comparison to Lily’s songs that make up On Hold. Whereas those songs felt very quiet, calming, indie, and purposely under-produced, ‘To Be A Woman Pt.2’ takes a far more aggressive, jazz-infused, intricately mixed sound. This difference is most evident in the chorus, where Lily’s older music sounded far more solo-produced and minimal, whilst this new track has hints of rock – a very welcomed shift, considering how beautiful the song is to listen to.

Lily announced the song on Instagram as a “new song about monsters and acid”, which perfectly sums up this tune. It mixes psychedelic instrumentals with a panic attack, and her always effortless vocals. A favourite moment of ‘To Be A Woman Pt.2’ is its bridge, which although it does cause the chest to cave in and fear to onset, the talking crowds, heavy guitar that sounds like screams, and what feels like a mental breakdown in musical form has to be commended. With lyrics such as “Lot of screaming and rush, not a feeling and touch”, “it’ll cut you like a panic attack”, and “One, two, three, don’t breath until I wanna come back”, it certainly feels as though panic, fear, anger and pain were the emotions Lily wanted this song to evoke, which she definitely achieved.

Commenting on these themes, and the process behind the song, Lily confessed “It’s raw and furious, coming from a place of frustration and pain born from a loss of control and a breach of trust”. She continues to state that usually, her songs would begin with anger and filter it out in the creation process, but ‘To Be A Woman Pt.2’ was different. Being “the result of a manipulative relationship, it’s both a retaliation against subordination and a reclamation of power”, which is evident in its lyrics, differing auditory sounds, and even the title.

‘To Be A Woman Pt.2’ is both a beautiful masterpiece, and a panic attack inducing musical meltdown, and on both counts a new song that deserves some recognition.

You can stream Fenne Lily’s ‘To Be A Woman Pt.2’ now via Dead Oceans.

 

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