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Solvej Schou
Quiet For Too Long (Independent)

Make no mistake, there is a war on women taking place right now. The anti-abortion bill in Alabama might be the snowball that causes an avalanche, as Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Utah and Iowa push to join the parade of misogyny and pseudo-science. It's a terrifying time to be alive.

Songwriter, writer and feminist Solvej Schou knows this all too well. She's timed the release of her new album, Quiet For Too Long, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. That's something worth remembering, but it also serves to hammer home just how heinous the current moves to restrict a women's autonomy over her own body are.

“These songs, which I wrote before and after Donald Trump was elected, represent me as a woman, a feminist, the American child and grandchild of immigrants, and as someone who unapologetically loves rock,” Schou said via a press release accompanying this album. In addition, the half Danish, half Jewish-Polish artist is the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors.

All of that comes across in the six tracks that make up this album/EP, and it's a record that reflects this current political climate: If your nerves aren't charged and tingling by the end, your emotions at tipping point, you aren't paying attention.

“I've been quiet for way too long, in my home, in my bedroom, with my headphones on, as the world burns red, blue kills black, America your hatred is gonna crack,” Schou sings on the opening “America,” a song which miraculously manages to condense the shit-show of the past two years into a few short minutes of much-needed heart-wrenching fury.

Schou's lyrics betray the fact that, a) she's also a writer with bylines in The Associated Press, Entertainment Weekly and elsewhere, and b) Patti Smith and PJ Harvey are among her major influences. The distillation of frustration, sadness and occasional joy, alongside real world issues, into sheer poetry is a real gift, and a much needed one right now.

Schou tackles the wave of anti-immigration that is sweeping the nation, gender equality (“Age and Beauty”), mortality (“Flicker Away”) and the death of David Bowie (“Stardust Hero”), and then the whole thing is over. But know this — this is a record that lives with you long after you lift the needle.

Credit: Courtesy of Solvej Schou

Credit: Courtesy of Solvej Schou

LA Weekly