I strongly feel that San Francisco-based alt-folk group Thao & The Get Down Stay Down doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Apart from having a consistent output of catchy and distinctive music, they were ahead of their time when they released a #MeToo anthem the year before the movement and gained footing on social media in 2017.
On “Meticulous Bird,” an infectious bass line and funk groove accompanies lead singer Thao Nguyen’s rapping and signature talk-singing as she outlines her revenge fantasy against an imaginary sexual predator: “I chase a stone-cold thief with a regular grab / I find the scene of the crime / I take my body back.”
While taunting said aggressor with lines such as “you didn’t know I’d get ferocious,” the lyrics also empower sexual assault survivors to acknowledge their own rights and stand up for themselves with a simple two-word chorus of “why deny?” Nguyen’s passion is palpable in her delivery as she screams some lines with visceral rage and softly speaks others with a cold deadpan menace.
Although “Meticulous Bird” mainly focuses on sexual assault, I’d argue that it’s also about a broader theme of taking power back from the oppressor, as the lyrics allude to other issues exacerbated by systemic power imbalance, including gentrification. Therefore, regardless of what issue you’re passionate about fighting — sexual assault or otherwise — “Meticulous Bird” is the perfect power anthem to play as you put on your war paint and go out into battle this week.
Reach writer Natalie Rand at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @n_rand_
Like what you’re reading? Support high-quality student journalism by donating here.