Brooklyn-based rock duo Power Pose share their defiant debut full-length album today, I’m Looking, out everywhere now. Celebrate the release with Power Pose’s official album release show at Bar Freda in NYC joined by The Rizzos and Freezing Cold. Find more information here.
United by their friendship and shared sense of purpose, Jacqueline Bodley (guitar/vocals) and Kelly Rudman (drums) formed Power Pose in 2017. After overcoming several personal obstacles and the pandemic further delaying their creative process, the duo is now arriving on the scene with a fierce seven track LP. With evocative lyricism and raw fervor, the songs shed light on the experience of womanhood and the struggle to reclaim one’s agency, which feels particularly timely today. After last week’s devastating Supreme Court decisions, reproductive rights have effectively been stripped and the future of America feels especially dark. The need for feminist voices to speak up has taken on a new urgency, and Power Pose is here to be heard.
The commanding debut album I’m Looking provides space for the duo to approach their womanhood with a fresh perspective as they explore themes like desire, agency, modern romance and everything in between. They are unafraid to confront emotions ranging from rage to carefree joy while they find strength in taking back their space and bodies. Providing some context, Bodley explains, “The tone of the album was heavily influenced by what was going on culturally at the time. MeToo was a huge part of the news when we first started writing music together, and there seemed to be constant think pieces being published that explored women’s perspectives in unprecedented ways.” Bodley adds, “This got us thinking about our past experiences in a new light. The ways that women are socialized to approach desire and pleasure, the ways we are stereotyped and objectified, the ways that we are expected to behave and the coping mechanisms we develop to navigate social pressures. These were all themes that were simmering in our minds when we wrote these songs.” Feminist and fearless, Power Pose offer a gritty and honest point of view that brings catharsis during a time of reckoning.
The album’s lead single, “Honey,” pays homage to Joan Jett’s anthemic rock-n-roll style, kicking off with a pounding drum beat that hammers through the song’s core. The track’s thumping rhythm, winding bass groove and infectious guitar riffs get your body moving. Sultry vocals give the tune a flirtatious, playful energy as the duo remains carefree, confident and unabashedly themselves. Its accompanying video, shot DIY-style on an iPhone, allows the band to play with identity and blur reality and fantasy, becoming the stars of their own colorful dance party. Watch the video here.
“The lyrics for “Honey” originated in a dark place, but the song transforms that darkness into something joyful and empowering,” says Bodley. During 2018, Bodley struggled with health issues that led her to spend time at home, watching TV and feeling isolated from the outside world. Bodley continues, “When you aren’t well, it’s easy to lose confidence and feel disconnected from your physical self. “Honey” is about someone living vicariously through the media they consume and plunging into fantasy to escape their reality. Ultimately, the narrator wakes herself up to reclaim her strength and sexual confidence. The song is about shaking off your insecurities and completely letting go. Its danceability celebrates the feeling of moving and connecting with your body.”
The LP’s second track, “Cat Person,” was inspired by the viral short story in The New Yorker of the same name. Recalling feelings of teen girlhood with its bouncy punk spirit, this track sees the duo embrace their 90s riot grrrl influences.
The tone shifts for “Western Witches“, with dark rhythms that conjure a wild sense of freedom and movement, like riding through open country. “The lyrics play with the ideas of casting a spell or being spellbound, the dynamics of seduction and control. There’s a wildness and danger in both seduction and being seduced, and we wanted the song to communicate that.” Explaining the song’s title, Bodley continues, “I often feel that women’s fascination with the motif of witchcraft lies in the fantasy of possessing power in a world where you feel powerless. Bringing this theme into the lyrics was a way for the narrator to cope with the lawlessness of the landscape of modern romance.”
“‘Bonfire‘ is equally dark, plunging into the seductive quality of memories and how one can build one’s own world out of them. “It’s essentially about being ghosted and then wondering if the connection you experienced with someone was real or imagined,” says Bodley. “There’s a murky, haunting vibe to this song that reflects the experience of immersing in memories past.”
The title track, “I’m Looking” brings subverting the male gaze to the forefront, turning male consumption of female sexuality on its head and putting women in the driver’s seat. Projecting both power and sensuality at the same time, the song is reminiscent of early PJ Harvey with its commanding vocals and dynamic instrumentation. Oozing with rock-n-roll swagger, it has a rhythmic looseness that feels open and flirtatious.
Written from the perspective of Bodley’s younger self, the album’s sixth track, “Chloe,” explores not being seen as a person in a relationship. Sentimental and shimmery, the song calls back to riot grrrl bands like Sleater-Kinney with its fiery vocals and pop melody. Bodley describes it as a song that “beats with the resilient heart of teen girlhood.”
The album’s particularly timely final track, “History of Violence,” is an angry cathartic release that expresses the outrage felt by much of the country around the Justice Kavanaugh hearings. Referencing the powerful lyric, “Who writes the laws that hold my body down / Who writes the laws that put a hand over my mouth,” Bodley explains the words, “Express the pure outrage that a man who did both of those things to Christine Blasey Ford now has the power to police millions of women’s bodies. The chorus laments the fact that this history of violence against women is embedded in our culture and has affected generation after generation, like we’re all growing out of poisoned soil.” The band decided to close the record with the track because it evokes a sense of closure. Bodley continues, “The solidarity and catharsis that women have felt in coming forward and sharing their stories has been a huge step forward. The song closes with a chorus of voices that feels like a sigh of relief.”
Staying close to home at Brooklyn’s Studio G, the LP was co-produced, recorded and mixed by Jeff Berner and mastered by Alex DeTurk.
Power Pose’s debut album, I’m Looking, is a moment of unification, celebration and declaration of autonomy in the face of grief, loss and despair as an uncertain future lies ahead in America. The full-length album, out everywhere now, celebrates carefree joy and shameless desire during a time that continually makes a hopeful, revitalized spirit difficult to attain. Join the duo for their official album release show featuring The Rizzos and Freezing Cold at Bar Freda in NYC. Check out more information here. Find Power Pose on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and stay tuned for more from the emerging duo.