Breaking the confinements and ideology of patriarchy is the best coat that Lauren Ruth Ward wears. The Los Angeles powerhouse returns with a mentally-scorn video that diminishes this outlook of assigned gender roles all while channeling Ward’s doubtful past on “Wise Gal.” The pulsating and empowering cut takes cues from classic rock, and psych-rock’s mystical overlays, easily setting Ward a place at her own table.
Directed by Nicol Biesek and Dri Sommer, “Wise Gal” sees Ward as a frustrated housewife who becomes suffocated in her lane cast by society. Playing with a very vivid and ‘70s inspired color-palette, much like its blues-rock guitar lead, each scene goes through the motions of cooking, cleaning, and keeping a well-kept appearance among the retro scenery.
Cathartically portrayed, Ward sets her intentions through past haunts: “I should’ve known better / I asked for sugar when I should’ve been making bread / I was afraid of my demons, but now we’re hanging / Don’t want to be with you man, I want to be in the band.” Skipping along distorted embellishments and heavy, groove filled drumming, Ward’s signature vocals swallow the expected. Breaking the dainty appearances set forth in each scene, Ward’s need to become more demolishes the cookie-cutter perfection and follows erratic behavior — burning her face with an iron, shredding a roll of toilet paper, and destroying everything in sight.
What came from more than a “lack of confidence” from Ward before she showcased herself as a musician rather than solely a show-going hairstylist, the track acts as a reflection of men Ward dated who drank from the “patriarchy’s Kool-Aid” as well as the lack of women musicians in her community. “‘Wise Gal’ is about my realization that young Lauren surrounded herself with all things music to band-aid the thought of not being able to become a musician herself,” says Ward. “It took her (us) a long time to listen to the voice that said ‘fuck the patriarchy, you are more than capable and you are your own support system!!’”
Following this year’s past singles such as “Pullstring” and “Valhalla,” Ward’s self-carved drive and class continues to rearrange what is seen as common. The artist will also head off on a 25-city tour supporting Melanie Martinez and release a highly anticipated follow-up, full-length early next year.