Considering the current state of the world, I know I am not the only women-identifying person feeling a heightened sense of needing to defend womanhood. With sexist attacks being thrown left, right, and centre, I crave empowering music to cling to. Fulfillment comes in the form of Freda James. The LA-based songstress releases her debut EP A Woman Alone today. Included are five tracks of diary entries - a woman's stories of confidence, imperfection, vulnerabilities, and self-love.
Alongside her all-female band, James built her voice within the Brooklyn music scene before relocating to the west coast in 2017. Reading about her music career thus far, it's obvious that James presents an empowering energy in everything she does. She formed a creative community meeting place back in Brooklyn. She wrote an EP with a title she uses to push the message that "women can do absolutely anything." Further still, her music is distinctly unique track-by-track. The title song "A Woman Alone" is a R&B and pop-infused gem. It has uncut honesty in her lyric "I don't need your hands between my legs to make me feel, to give me strength". Strength is exactly what James emanates in this collection of tracks - whether that be through showing vulnerability or standing proud as a woman.
"Bound To You" seems like a delicate ballad until James' voice rises in the chorus in Celine Dion style. "Horrified" has more pop influence with a backtrack of a strong beat and vocals that reminds me of Jessie Ware. "Just Like Wind" utilizes 1980's synth styles and showcases James' skill to write fast-paced, multi-harmony pieces. "Soft" is aptly named for its quieter tone but not its story. It's lyrics are razor sharp, with James vowing to tear a man off if he finds his way onto her skin.
James says that these songs come from her experiences searching for love outside herself, and realizing she needed self-love the most. She says that she is "sharing stories with the hope they will find their way to people who, like me, lack the rooted vibrations of confidence. Now growing into my wild woman self, I'm more at ease with everything, my body, my power, my faults."
James as an artist and as a woman is an inspiration. She embodies the confidence she sings about through actions like leaving her EP artwork untouched to embarking on a career as a woman alone. Take a moment and drown out the current news around you. Listen to Freda James sing with confidence about the journey of self-love, loving others, and being a strong woman.