We’ve worked closely with the band Hands Off Gretel in the past, and reviewed their latest album ‘I Want The World’, but merely months after the release, front woman Lauren Tate announced she would be releasing her first solo studio album in five years through her own record label Trash Queen Records. Lauren is a musical powerhouse; not only writing, recording, mixing and producing the album but presenting her artistic skills in the album’s artwork.
‘Songs For Sad Songs’ is a thirteen track adventure, tip-toeing through sensitive subjects ranging from grooming, abusive relationships, to mental illness. The two singles from the record differ greatly in message but at the same time, they are closely linked, conveying two life changing political and social issues. ‘Miss American Perfect Body’ is about women in the media and body image, a catchy soft grunge anthem guaranteed to have you swaying with a lighter in the air in no time. On the other hand, the second single ‘What About The Kids’ is a heart-wrenching account of a school shooting, from the perspective of a victim addressing her father. “The song is from a child’s point of view speaking to her father addressing gun violence in America.
“I wanted the song to highlight issues around gun control and the importance of children’s future in a world where nobody is listening to them. I wrote this song to sing for those that won’t ever get the chance to do so.”
Other notable mentions on the album include ‘Can’t Keep my Hands Off You’ is a classic love/hate pop rock ballad, portraying an “asshole” boyfriend or love interest that Lauren can’t escape, hence the title. ‘He Wanted More’ is a grungy song, one of the heavier parts of the album, lyrically painting a frustrating portrait of being told you’re not good enough by someone who supposedly loves you. ‘He Loves Me’ covers an abusive relationship in a jazzier tempo, a stand out part of the chorus being the phrase “I know you only hurt me ‘cause you love me, right?”
‘Rock N Roll Radio’, a narrative song, telling a tale of grooming from the perspective of a fifteen year old befriending a thirty-one year old man who is then revealed to be married. Whether or not Tate has personally experienced some of the issues raised throughout ‘Songs For Sad Girls’ does not take away from her incredible penmanship, making every song feel so raw and personal without taking too much away from the music itself.
“My lyrics are honest and brutal with songs about domestic abuse, body image, feminism and fear of dying. I wanted it to sound like a girl writing in her diary, unapologetic and imperfect like real girls are.”
Closing song ‘Teddy’ is gritty nostalgia-fuelled song, Lauren yearns for the comfort of her childhood toys, ending the album on a blue note, but it almost feels appropriate. ‘Songs For Sad Girls’ really is an album for sad girls, and is possibly a weapon to make young impressionable women realise they are not alone in their feelings or experiences. Lauren Tate is influencing a whole new generation of riot girls, unafraid to be loud and angry and especially in the music industry, demanding to be visible and to be listened to.
Preorder ‘Songs For Sad Girls’ here: laurentate.co.uk/