Birch, an indie-pop band based of Brooklyn, was founded by Michelle Birsky three years ago with Matt Towles. Due to being out of the country, she wasn’t able to attend the Women’s March in D.C. but paid tribute by writing a feminist anthem in support of all the marchers.
The track birthed out of divergence and anger, “femme.two,” echoes Birch’s woes of injustice backed by a modern arrangement of synths and a hypnotizing beat that weigh on your ears and conscience. “It’s a song about the current state of feminism and how far we’ve come and yet, how far we’ve got to go,” said Birsky.
The very thing that people were protesting—Donald Trump—may have been the inevitable affliction to bring awareness to all of the inequalities in 2018.
“I think Trump was a huge catalyst for change around the world,” she said. “Our generation didn’t grow up marching. I grew up in the 90s. Women thought feminism was over because we have the right to vote and are in the work place. People thought the feminist movement should be put to bed. But, I think the fact that Trump was elected, and we have a known rapist as our President, it really just shows how little people care about the safety of women.”
“femme.two” was the first song she wrote for her upcoming album, which is estimated to be released around September. She explained the current political climate, public outcry and past experiences inspired the record.
“This song is definitely the most universal where the rest of the songs get into my own personal deep dive of what it means to be a woman today. So, I go back in time to the first time I experienced sexism… It goes further into my experiences with sexual assault and the coping mechanisms that I have taken part in to deal with past trauma. It’s a deep dive into my personal history as a woman and also how it relates to our shared experience as women and our shared experience with our female ancestors that came before us.”
Birsky’s tribute to her ancestors is shown on the cover art for the single. A haunting photo of her grandmother as a child in 1931 attending her first communion is the visual people see with the track.
She revealed a remix will be released by the end of the month, along with a chilling and compelling music video in September. “The whole concept is about fucking with beauty standards.”
Birsky collaborated with boyfriend, Cape Francis, to come up with the concept, which includes three other women sitting in front of mirrors, destroying makeup and the implications and expectations that come with it.
“I draw a big x across my mouth. It was really powerful, but it was an intense process. That day of filming was one of the best days of my life.”
Much like her day of filming “femme.two’s” music video, writing the music was an empowering and healing process.
“It was the first time I really ever told the truth to myself and to the rest of the world when I decide to put it out. Writing through my past, I’m coming out the other side of experiences that shaped who I am. To write it so open and honestly is very therapeutic, and I’m only able to do that because of the way the world is now. The whole Me Too Movement has opened my eyes—as well as others’ eyes—that we’re not alone. Most women have been through this experience, and we should be talking about it.”
Birch hopes to tour nationally with the release of their record in 2019. Feminism isn’t a topic that will go away until equality is reflected in all aspects of our society. Birsky is hopeful that it will happen in our lifetime.
“I hope people will take away that this is still a movement that needs to be discussed. We need to keep moving the needle forward, and we need art to reflect on what’s happening in our culture right now. We need to come together, women and men help each other, move the needle, change the way things are because we have so much further to go. It’s not hopeless; I believe in our lifetime, we will see true equality. A lot of people disagree with me, but I think it’s possible if we keep standing up for each other.”