By Alyce Ruby
It’s no secret what living in this world is like for women, well to women anyway. From the wake of the YouGov poll showing that 86% of women aged 18 to 24 have been sexually harassed (publically) to the recent murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of a police officer – it’s as clear as ever that the culture of harassment, assault and misogyny is as rampant as it’s always been.
Delilah Bon (aka Lauren Tate), takes this issue head on with her self-titled debut album, released on the 21st of last month. With the theme tackling r*pe culture and celebrating female empowerment, it’s a big responsibility to take on one’s shoulders – but Tate takes it on, and executes it perfectly. Self-described as punk-infused hip-hop, it results in what she calls ‘Brat Punk’ – fitting for the nature of her lyrics and the chaotic music only emphasises the message.
Speaking on the album she said: “The album is a celebration of female empowerment and independence. Made by a woman as a voice for women and non-binary people, I wrote about r*pe culture, girls uplifting girls and self-love. From my own experiences and so many other girls in my DM’s, I wrote the album wanting to speak my truth, unfiltered and raw, sarcastic and often angry, fusing rap and fuzzy nu-metal guitars as what I call Brat Punk.”
Tate has certainly put her all into this album: writing, performing, recording and producing the entire body of work herself – through her very own label, Trash Queen Records. This may be Delilah Bon’s debut but it certainly isn’t Lauren Tate’s first rodeo. She’s fronted the punk-rock band ‘Hands Off Gretel’ since 2015, writing and co-producing along with releasing solo music under her own name.
“Self-producing the album was important to me, especially as female producers are sadly rare and under-represented. I wanted to prove that I could, creating all the beats, recording all the instruments myself to truly bring my visions to life.”
The 12-track album opens up with ‘Freak Of The Week’ infusing a heavy, grungy bass with a hip-hop beat straight out of the 2000s. Delilah shares with us the ever familiar experience of unwanted male attention whilst we’re just trying to enjoy a night out with our girls. The harmonies are very feminine whilst her punky rap is strong and powerful, a contrast that works very well. It’s a fitting opener for the album – instantly relatable for women and a lesson for men who behave this way.
‘Bad Attitude’ is angry, chaotic and basically a musical middle finger to anybody who doubts Delilah Bon. She’s making it by herself. The shouty, riotous track heavily features electric/bass riffs that perfectly carry the song and message.
‘Red Dress’ has a heavy rock influence, it’s slow and throaty intro and chorus musically contrasts the verses with lyrics of smiling and faking it when life gets you down. She calls out those who have always doubted her whilst equally uplifting those in her life that have always been there: “If you supported me back then you’d be backstage and stuff/See no, it’s always been me and my mother we’re proving them wrong, uplifting each other.”
With ABBA as a guilty pleasure of mine, Delilah’s ‘Chiquitita’ is the chaotic, punky spin-off of the 70s hit I didn’t know I needed. Like the original, she acts as a guiding friend in a more aggressive, empowering manner. She isn’t nursing you from heartache but reminding you, as a woman, who you are and what you can do.
‘War On Women’ may just be one of my personal favourites on the album. The thought provoking, slower track tackles the issues our world is currently facing: sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, mental health and the climate crisis. “A war on gender is a war on us all/They hate what is different and they kill what is small.”
Delilah Bon/Lauren Tate has produced an album that holds a truly powerful message throughout, one that the world needs reminding of. She’s dedicated the entire body of work to uplifting minorities and women, all whilst creating it on her own. She’s sarcastic, witty yet equally angry because, well somebody should be. Delilah Bon doesn’t ask for permission, she says what needs to be said, doing it all with a catchy punk flair. ****1/2
The self-titled debut album is available now on all major streaming platforms.