With technology being as advanced as ever and coupling with that with the various social media platforms, what is real and is programmed to be perceived as such is making the line more blurred than ever. Look at what has transpired over the past year with the political climate and the pandemic and you discover that finding peace within the storm can be dicey at best.
Singer/guitarist Lindsey Cox herself has been somewhat crippled with feelings of confusion and exasperation with what is being told what is acceptable and decided to fight back. Her band Stepmom released their first full-length self titled album at the beginning of September, unhinges their wrath upon disillusionment while searching to find meaning and purpose in a society that distorts reality. The tracks on Stepmom, which were written over the course of two to three years, are beautifully orchestrated with an effervescent punk ethos and deeply moody synths. The cascading three-part harmonies in tracks like “Take Care” pushes subjects of relationships and traumas to levels that are too relatable for most.
As for the cover of Stepmom, the band used melted barbies because they believed the image of a Barbie being destroyed goes along with the theme of living in a society where reality is distorted. The Barbie (according to stepmom) promotes being white, blonde, and thin as the norm and excludes many who did not see themselves in the toys they played with, so they like to set them on fire.
We recently caught up with Cox to talk more about the album.
Talk about your sound on your debut S/T record in your own words, what were you striving for when you started working on it? What was most interesting to us on first listen were the more orchestral and keyboard moments, it’s a great addition to the more straight-ahead garage rock sound.
I honestly try to write music that I would want to listen to on the radio. I love contrasting dreamy orchestral tones with fuzz garage rock tones and I never want my music to be predictable. I get a lot of influence from The White Stripes, Angel Olsen, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Sufjan Stevens.
There seem to be a lot of themes confronting modern social issues, or talking about societal taboos that people are just now getting more comfortable opening up about (anxiety, positive self-image), if you could, talk more about those themes.
I dealt with a lot of anxiety before I wrote this album. I was extremely unconfident and unhappy because I was depending on others for my happiness. I felt like I didn’t have control over my life. I woke up one day and realized I was never going to be happy unless I made happiness for myself. Near the beginning of the writing process for this album, I made some major life changes… I got out of a relationship, got my dream job, fell in love with someone new, and moved into a new house together. I think you can hear my newfound confidence affect my music. We are all going through something in our lives and we are all at different stages of self-discovery. I hope that people can relate to my music and realize that everything is temporary and that you have the power to create happiness for yourself.
What is the Oklahoma City Music scene like, and what have things been like during covid?
The Oklahoma music scene is full of incredibly talented and diverse musicians. It’s exciting to be playing alongside bands and artists that you’re truly a fan of. I think the people in our city are still waking up to the fact that we have world-class talent right here. Venues like Tower Theatre, The Criterion, and The Jones Assembly have done an incredible job bringing in national talent that wouldn’t normally play here, and they’ve done a lot to give opportunities to our local scene as well. During COVID, we’ve seen a huge shift to live-streamed/outdoor concerts. Our local musicians are still being creative and releasing new music. I don’t think a pandemic can keep artists from being creative.
Another fantastic musical device employed throughout the album are the 2 and 3 part vocal harmonies. It calls to reference some classic 60’s groups but with a modern twist, does each band member sing and do you feel that sets you apart when you perform these tracks?
Yes, each band member sings! I grew up as a choir kid, so I love incorporating harmonies wherever I can. My bandmate Danielle sang opera in college and Cheyenne has an incredibly beautiful voice. I definitely think our harmonies help set us apart.
Last question; what can we expect next? With no touring on the horizon will you continue to release more music?
We are currently working on a stop motion music video for our single, Party People. My roommate Nicole Emmons is a fantastic stop motion animator and has agreed to work with us! We are also planning a live-action music video for our song, “Vampires”. We’ve also written a new song during COVID, So you can expect to hear that soon! We’ll continue to write and put out new music!