The JEZABELS: A journey within FEMINISM

This article was published within my story Children of the Big Scrub https://www.academia.edu/19203461/Children_of_the_Big_Scrub_-_keepers_of_the_Northern_Rivers

I heard there was a kind of tree releasing spores, that could enslave a mind, to follow secret laws…

The JEZABELS: A journey within Feminism

Of all the songs that spark up my neural pathways, it is The Cure’s ‘From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea’ that fires this up. However, lapping at its shoreline is ‘The Brink’; The Jezabels are an Australian band who have really inspired me over the years.

As I stated in my 2015 review ‘I’m just a little bit lonely for the Jezabels’: “The two ladies from the Sydney band actually hail from Byron Shire. Lead songstress Hayley Frances McGlone -AKA Hayley Mary, and keyboardist Heather Shannon, have been on quite a ride since. They formed in 2007 while attending Sydney Uni, and went on to record two well-loved albums, and such successful EP’s as Dark Storm. A feminist band, their title is actually a revolt against the way women have often been portrayed throughout history. Hayley Mary has been outspoken in interviews about the pressure women face in society; the entertainment industry in particular. I used the lyrics from Mace Spray, a poignant song that I felt expressed the dangers and mental anxiety women are dealt in life, in a story I wrote about the ‘women of Myanmar’ after visiting Burma in 2012. It may well involve this sentiment, but @ Triple- J’s Top 100, Hayley described the song as relating to the fact that within ideology the strength of your inner-voice does not always match-up to the complexities of reality.”

In an interview with Hannah Story for ‘The Music.com.au’ 2014, Hayley revealed how the inspiration for her passion for the themes spawned within feminism, and found within her songs- which at times are ‘overtly gender-focussed’, stems in part from a reaction to growing up in the Byron Shire, with its thirst for Hardcore and Blues music. In an interview for ‘Blast Magazine’ 2011, Hayley stated that she has tried to emphasise a modern, more contemporary approach to her communication within the realm of feminism, where satire has had its time in the sun in areas where society has felt it necessary to label ‘feminism’ as a negative construct. Hayley described how the ‘hatred of men’ does not enter the fray, but it doesn’t mean she can’t be ‘in your face’ when letting her thoughts be known! While completing an Arts Degree at university, Hayley explored the stigma of feminism and people’s attitudes towards it.

The struggle women face in life does anger Hayley though, and just recently she sent me an article announcing how feminism is now being taught in New Zealand schools. The cover photo displayed a powerful image of a young lady with a black eye. I was also sent a link to their new album ‘Synthia’ and the clever film clip for the song ‘Come Alive’. The animated video is fascinating, nicely Goth for moi with its ambient calm, and moody, shadowy-charcoal imagery, where after the storm the finality with it’s swirling of serene seal play; tranquillity in unity. It’s a great song, one that I will come to know well. A rebirth from the injustice of the flames, tis a beautifully dramatic and theatrical film clip, with an industrial surge as it nears the end, followed by its gentle goodbye.

Within the album’s Facebook-promo it states: “Synthia plays like a widescreen heroine’s journey in 10 parts. An album that brings a very personal truth about how it feels to be a woman. An album worthy of celebration.”

I guess what Hayley speaks to the new album sums up this topic well: “ Previously I have shrouded myself a lot in mystery and the language of romanticism; played roles and stuff which reflected some kind of truth about how I felt as a woman.”

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