Certain topics will always make a song easily relatable: desire, heartbreak, jealousy. Perhaps less discussed, though sadly nearly as universal -- especially for women -- is some experience with abuse, violence or trauma.
That commonality has become even more apparent to Shannon Harney, lead singer of San Francisco indie-pop trio Be Calm Honcho, following the release of the band's music video for their new single, "Bad Man." The video, which premiered on Clash Music earlier this week, depicts a lone woman going through an initiation ritual of sorts on a baseball diamond; the intricate dance performed by her attackers has a grace and subtlety all its own.
Harney originally penned the song about her brother, who's currently serving a jail term. But she's since found that the song's themes, as well as the video, have resonated far beyond her personal story.
"The form of this song that I sing at my shows is about my family, my story," Harney writes in an email. "[But] the form of this song that resonates with our fans is their own, equally complicated and worthy of its own narrative. Kathleen Dycaico (choreographer), Pete Lee (director) and I developed the initiation ritual of a woman breaking through the ties that bound her to trauma, we imagined the women conducting the rites would have been initiants once themselves; a foundational faction of women who had also 'gone through the fire' to the other side."