More artists are continuing to redefine what it means to be a queer woman in this era, and L.A.-based singer-songwriter Lauren Ruth Ward takes it a step further by dismantling patriarchal expectations in her new “Wise Gal” video.
Premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Aug. 9), the Nicol Biesek- and Dri Sommer-directed video shows Ward playing a frustrated housewife who feels too confined in her role. “I asked for sugar when I should’ve been making bread,” she passionately sings on the chorus, while literally baking a loaf with doll heads in place of eggs. The visual gradually becomes trippy as Ward burns her face with an iron, rips up toilet paper in the bathroom and destroys her kitchen.
“Years before I came out of the closet as a musician, I was just a show-going hairstylist to the artists I admired,” Ward tells Billboard. “I look back at those times and remember the attitude I had towards myself — which was more than just a lack of confidence. It was a reflection of the men I was dating who drank the patriarchy’s Kool-Aid, combined with the lack of women musicians in my community (I see, I do). This was between 2004-2011.
“Today this experience is overplayed, a bright note,” she continues. “‘Wise Gal’ is about my realization that young Lauren surrounded herself with all things music to Band-Aid the thought of not being able to become a musician herself. It took her (us) a long time to listen to the voice that said, ‘Fuck the patriarchy, you are more than capable and you are your own support system!!’ Nicol Biesek and Dri Sommer’s satirical approach to binary gender chores, combined with my need to emote deep-seeded frustrations on the traumatic concept, felt perfectly cathartic. This is one of my favorite music videos.”
“Wise Gal” follows previous Ward singles like “Valhalla,” “Hungry Barber” and “Pullstring.” The singer-songwriter will embark on a 25-city tour in support of Melanie Martinez beginning this fall (see the dates here), and plans to release a full-length project early next year. She’s also working on a side project with Chris of indie band SWIMM called Aging Actress.
Before then, check out the video below.