by Alexa Peters
On August 2nd, New Orleans-based chanteuse Carsie Blanton welcomes a new album, So Ferocious. The cover art for the forthcoming album, a sketch of a mostly-naked Blanton cuddling with a large lion, embodies everything about Blanton that makes her worth writing about. A strong, sexy female with no issues speaking her mind and subverting the sexist tropes that often trap “chick singer-songwriters,” Blanton’s music smolders with moxie, combining the understated vocal quality of Billie Holiday with the folk-pop songwriting of artists like Anais Mitchell and Paul Simon.
Take for instance, her new video for “Vim and Vigor.” In a blog post meant to introduce the music video, Blanton writes:
"The men in the video are improbably hot and muscled because I want male viewers to question their own physical fitness and attractiveness. I want male viewers to feel that they are being sized up physically, and may not measure up. I want them to wonder, 'am I thin enough? Strong enough? Handsome enough? Do I have a big enough dick?'
I want them to feel that tremble in the pit of their stomach, and to wonder whether they are worthy of a woman’s attention. I want them to think they might be dismissed, ignored, or humiliated, simply because of the shape of their physical form.
It’s not that I’m a sadist, though. It’s all in the interest of creating empathy. I want you to feel this way, gentlemen, and I want you to recognize that this is what it feels like to walk through the world as a woman, every f*ing day."
The video shows Blanton using men like pieces of pretty furniture, butlers, sex toys, eye candy. She overtly objectifies them, counteracting the intense double standard in our society by elucidating the novelty of men in these roles. The power dynamics are shifting and she wants to make sure everyone knows, singing, “This ain’t 1954/it ain’t a man’s world anymore/so whatcha wanna tame me for/do I make you nervous?”
As a young woman, I can’t state enough how important it is to have songs like this one in the world, and for its message to be delivered by an empowered female. We need to challenge the tired social narrative of “kowtowing women” for the good of all gender-identities, and one of the most sure-fire ways of effecting social change is through pop culture. So thank you, Carsie Blanton. I can’t tout your clever lyrics, badass intentions, and rebellious video for “Vim and Vigor” enough.