My first option I’m considering for the podcast is “Hands Clean” by Alanis Morissete from her album Under Rug Swept. This song addresses a past relationship between her and an older man. This song intrigues me because the narration in the lyrics change throughout the song. She addresses the situation through his point of view in the verses, while the chorus expresses her own feelings. She also focuses on the silence in the aftermath of her forbidden relationship, which is a traumatizing aspect of this situation on its own. Alanis confronts the complicated dynamic of this affair. This song is also representative of her soft rock acoustic style that she is known for. Part of my research will include searching for other music that discusses this taboo topic. From my musical knowledge, I am under the impression that the discussion of sexual or relational abuse is not particularly common, at least so explicited stated in “Hands Clean.” This song holds significance because I admire her sincerity. The story that she tells throughout the song elicit gut wrenching feelings. It would take courage to speak out about her experience to another person, so her release of this song shows admirable strength. Furthermore, I will explore the impact that the publication of this song has had on survivors and the conversation around this issue. 

My second option is A Living Human Girl by The Regrettes from their album Feel Your Feelings Fool! In this song, the band unapologetically owns their female humanness. The lyrics explore traits that society would deem ugly, especially from a woman, while also proclaiming self-love and confidence. This song protests society’s double standards when it comes to gender.  Although The Regrettes are a punk band, this song genre-bends a bit, implementing a doo-wop vocal element in the first verse, then eventually executing a reverbed guitar tune. The Regrettes can also be described as “Riot Grrl,” or feminist punk, so this song is also representative of that genre. Though this is more recent “Riot Grrl,” I am interested in researching the roots as well. This song is personally significant to me because it’s empowering; it offers a different message than the ones women are so used to receiving from society.

Isabel Vieyra