Empress Of’s 2015 album Me was ripe with subtly political, deeply personal synth pop. Songs like “Everything Is You” and “Need Myself” grappled with womanhood and the ever elusive self-determination we seek in 2016. The album offered up a riotous blend of club-ready dance numbers and introspective power pop.
It makes sense, then, that a previously unreleased B-side from Lorely Rodríguez’s debut album would embody the same powerful spirit. “Woman is a Word” is a clanging, yearning censure of women’s objectification, one where Rodríguez passionately condemns those who write her off as a purely physical being. “I’m only a figure if you can see my frame/I’m only a struggle if I get in your way.” On Twitter, Rodriguez explained that she wrote the song “as a reaction to feeling like the word ‘woman’ put me in a box of things I was capable to do.”
This song means so much to me. I wrote it as a reaction to feeling like the word "woman" put me in a box of things I was capable to do.
— Empress Of (@EmpressOf) March 14, 2016