Womb To Tomb have addressed one of the hottest topics of 2017 with a new music video. Their song ‘Meat & Bones’ was released as a teaser announcement just ahead of a show at Peppers Pub in Saint John. The video, which was show live at Pub Down Under by Emily St. Pierre and Abigail Smith, sends a powerful message.
Presented in black and white, the video of ‘Meat & Bones’ zeros in on the message the band is sending by giving the viewer few things to distract them from the band themselves. The footage allows us to see in the expressions of the musicians and just how deep of a place this song comes from. Delivered by way of soft yet dynamic harmonies, the lyrics, as the song’s main focus, pack a powerful punch.
Divorcing the body and spirit with their lyrics, the Wong sisters tell of how their ‘meat and bones’ are nothing more than components, like a recipe for how to build a human. We are, after all, simply souls driving a meat-coated skeletons. So why does this come across as so perverse?
As the lines “this body of mine, so familiar yet so strange, meat and bones” and “Some days it feels like a cage that I am trapped in, just the gift that I am wrapped in” are sung by the twin sisters, we get a sense for how ‘Meat & Bones‘ is the ultimate objectification. It disregards the individual for the sake of fetishizing the physical form.
The song progresses with lines like “lines and curves some have loved when I couldn’t, some have wanted when they shouldn’t” to touch on the ever-present issue of unwanted physical attention and even the sense of feeling uncomfortable in one’s own body: a sentiment we’ve all felt at one point or another.
Hitting home with verses that discuss the heart of the issue, the sisters emphasize the lines “I hear you say shh, it’s okay like I shouldn’t be resisting, like I owe you for existing” and “It shouldn’t take a bigger shout for you to get no means no” with a short break in the music.
A steady drumbeat and the repeated words “meat and bones” make the song come across almost as a form of protest or even a battle cry. With a sound that beats through a crescendo and back again, the song takes you through the internal struggles one might go through when experiencing any form of assault or disassociation with the physical body.
“[I was] just overall being sick of the constant struggle between being objectified and also a life-long terrifying feeling that [your] worth can be measured by how attractive people find [you],” says lyricist and vocalist Jillian Wong
Lyrics like “You don’t seem to care that your presence has me shaking, guess I’m there just for your taking” outline the selfishness of abusers and encourages listeners to think before they act and consider the effects of their actions on others.
The song leaves us lingering on the words “If you ever stop to think what it is you leave behind […] when you’re done having fun with my body and my mind, my meat and bones, meat and bones.”
“There’s always someone who thinks you’re too shallow and involved in your looks and decides your self obsessed, and someone who thinks you’re trying too hard to impress men,” says Jillian. With this song, Womb to Tomb take a stand against that is experienced in extremely high numbers in today’s society.