AGENT Nicole Yalaz
LABEL Suicide Squeeze
NEWS & PRESS
Childbirth is a “supergroup” in the sense its members are all in other hit bands (Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, Bree McKenna of Tacocat, Stacy Peck of Pony Time) and also that they do good for the world while in costume. The band’s feats are performed in maternity gowns rather than the traditional cape, but the gowns flap around as dramatically and are probably more comfortable. And honestly writing a song about an astronaut who wears adult diapers is cooler than flying.
Stacy first picked up a guitar as an MTV-obsessed teenager in Iowa. She loved the classic rock and 80s pop her parents listened to in the car, but it was the Riot Grrl and alternative music coming out of Olympia in the 90s that inspired her to play. The Olympia scene eventually lured her to the Northwest, where she played with Touchdown Eagle, Redbook and Telepathic Liberation Army.
Stacy met Julia when Redbook played a show with Chastity Belt. “They were so good I didn’t want to play after them,” said Stacy, “They kept saying ‘fuck you’ to the audience which I thought was cool.” The two ran into each other again at a Team Dresch show and the first proto-Childbirth songwriting sessions ensued.
Stacy and Bree’s story is more complicated. Long before the formation of Childbirth, they had been in a relationship that ended disastrously. The two didn’t speak for two years, and were in the process of reconnecting and becoming friends when Stacy met Julia. Bree played with Stacy and Julia one night and found they had tremendous musical chemistry, with Stacy on drums, Julia on guitar, and Bree on bass. Childbirth was, well, born, screaming, clothed only in sunglasses, and almost immediately releasing a song (on their first record, It’s a Girl) that became #9 of Spin’s Best Singles 2014. The song, “I Only Fucked You as a Joke,” was so popular I saw someone perform it at GGNZLA Records karaoke before I heard the original recording. In fine Riot Grrl tradition, Childbirth’s 3-chord punk songs are irreverent, funny, and so catchy the band truly deserves the title of “supergroup.”
To further describe Childbirth--they played my Rainier-and-oxy-fueled book release party, attended by two McCarthur geniuses, where bottle rockets went off indoors and a piñata nearly took out a light fixture, and their sound was so analogous to the party I think at one point they turned invisible.
Childbirth’s forthcoming album, Women’s Rights, is piss-your-pants funny—subject matter includes a trashy friend bringing coke to a baby shower (“Baby Bump”) characteristics that warrant an instant “swipe left” on Tinder (“Siri, Open Tinder”) and dating vapid IT douches (“Tech Bro.”) Lyrics on Women’s Rights are highly quotable—from “Tech Bro:” “I’ll let you explain feminism to me/If I can use your HD TV.”
Like the majority of effective political art, Women’s Rights shows rather than telling. The songs describe what is fucked up in the world so evocatively that it needs no commentary, and always with a biting sense of humor. “Will You Let the Dogs In” is a rewrite of “Who Let the Dogs Out,” which would be hilarious by itself (“Will you let the dogs in? Will you? Will you?) but in the context of the album acquires a feminist subtext. I’d never thought about it before, but “Who Let the Dogs Out” is kinda bro-y. “Will You Let the Dogs In” subtly says something along the lines of okay, you puked on the floor at my party and called my teenage cousin a bitch, now maybe clean up and stop yelling?
This is the genius of Childbirth—you’re laughing and dancing so hard you don’t notice the band’s effective and often uniquely subtle social commentary until you’re brushing your teeth one night and find yourself analyzing the lyrics of “Who Let the Dogs Out.” And then you laugh again. -- SARAH GALVIN