Eilis Frawley – Stats (Reckless Yes)

Eilis Frawley – Stats (Reckless Yes)

Announcing her second EP Adult Life Berlin-based alt-pop musician Eilis Frawley has released a new single, Stats, from it – an unapologetic feminist avant-garde anthem.

Eilis Frawley by Janina GallertArtist: Eilis Frawley
Track: Stats
Label: Reckless Yes
Released: 28 August 2020
Find it: Spotify | Bandcamp

Female anger is often dismissed as too emotional. Where men gain power and respect for, sometimes distressing, displays of anger. It confirms their masculinity, they are passionate. Women though, study after study shows, are considered to invalidate their anger by the way it is displayed. They lose power when they can no longer contain it, when in truth they are never too emotional.

Innovative solo artist Eilis Frawley asserted this with the title of her debut EP in February 2020, a time which seems an aon ago. Through her tracks though we have an insoluble link to the Before Times, and the challenges which faced us then – mental health, overwork, sexism, misogyny – haven’t disappeared in this unusual year even if how we experience them is somewhat changed.

If anyone was doubting the reasons women are angry – why we should all be angry – new single Stats should settle that. Based in Berlin, Conservatoire-trained percussionist Frawley has developed her sound from a sparse selection of drums, samples, and spoken-word. What forms is a futuristic, avant-garde alt-pop sound

Setting a pragmatically read list of statistics about female life from the denial of education, lack of menstrual products, risk of domestic abuse, through to genital mutilation and how many girls are forced into marriage as children. It is a stark listen, but the distance to those numbers is bridged through the personal experience.

On Stats she said, “‘Stats’ tells the story of the everyday hardship women encounter. It’s tiring walking with keys between your knuckles, or pretending to talk on the phone on the train station platform late at night. We’ve developed thick skin for public life, but I’m still dreaming of a world where we don’t have to change who we are to walk out the door.”

Entering on a tumble of percussion, the track beats forward. It is, of course, drum heavy but it’s never one dimensional or bland. With flurries of percussion and the use of synths and samples there are layers to the melody which build as a vibrant background to the darkness the lyrics cast. You might not be sure what to expect from a solo drummer intoning spoken word but what Frawley has conjured is sometimes industrial sometimes bright but which always finds the brilliance and melodic beauty in the constraints of being a soloist in non-conventional instrumentation.

Stats follows earlier work as a track which is deeply feminist on both a personal and global scale. Unflinching in theme, and playfully creative in melodic tone she is once again showing herself to be one of the most innovative artists around, cutting new genre ground and challenging expectations as she goes.

Stats is taken from forthcoming second EP Adult Life. This will be released in October and follows on from a debut EP, Never Too Emotional, released earlier in 2020. Find Eilis Frawley’s guide to the Berlin music scene for us here.

Image: Janina Gallert

Find Eilis Frawley: Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

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* Disclaimer: Sarah Lay is co-founder of Reckless Yes so is partially responsible for the release of this track. However, she would only release or write about music she really loved so this is more about enthusiasm for great music, and great artists than it is touting her own wares.

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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