When Folk Witness went to see Lady Maisery in Aldershot a month or so ago, the breadth and depth of the trio’s new material made a big impression. So it’s great to hear that the group have released their cover of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work as a single.
As a taster of Lady M’s forthcoming album, which is due in June, it’s a tantalising one. The harmonies of Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans are as central and distinctive as always, but Lady M seem to be making more of their instrumental talents this time round, and an apparently Scandinavian-inspired fiddle line helps drive the melody.
“All three of us have always loved Kate Bush,” say the Maiseries (presumably in harmony). “We were struck by the way this song shows the complexities of the relationship between a man and a woman before the birth of their first child, addressing the possibilities of loss whilst exploring the situation from a man’s point of view. It felt like an unusual angle for a song, and Kate’s lyrics get straight to the heart of this very human relationship, illustrating the complicated gender roles and emotions at play. Understanding the complexity of experiences like this is an important part
of working towards more equal relationships between men and women.” Here’s a sneak preview:
What’s more, the single has been timed to coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8), which in turn kicks off Women’s History Month. So it’s appropriate and pleasing that all profits from the single will be donated to End Violence Against Women, a coalition that does some highly commendable lobbying work.
“We are all passionate about campaigning for women’s rights and promoting feminism,” say Hazel, Hannah and Rowan. “This is often reflected in the songs we’ve chosen to sing. We’re very excited to be working with the End Violence Against Women coalition and supporting the important work they do raising awareness about violence against women, lobbying local and national government and campaigning to protect women’s support services.”
The song will appear on Lady M’s second album, which is due out in June, but this is a special remix by Andy Bell, so “waiting for album to come out” isn’t an excuse not to buy one, especially as it’s for such a good cause. You can find the song on iTunes – here’s a useful link. Lady Maisery – This Woman’s Work on iTunes
Incidentally, Kate Bush seems to capture folkies’ imaginations in a way that only seems matched in the non-traddy world by Tom Waits. Here’s Jon Boden & the Remnant Kings’ great version of Hounds of Love, just because.