It’s already there in the way Tamara Lindeman starts off the song, like she’s gazing at you with that look between bedroom eyes and amusement. Her latest song as the Weather Station, “Shy Women,” is about the way women love to veil themselves, spectacular in half-revelation. But it’s also about how that response is self-binding, a reaction to the power structures women internalize early on. Shyness becomes a source of returned power, a small rebellion against the unrelenting gaze of objectification. What other stance is there in a society — a world, really — that demands women demure, acquiesce, support, humble themselves? To be bold, as a woman, is to transgress. Lindeman is interrogating that expectation here, wielding her dreamy, smoky voice through a melody, a beat, that whirrs in the same predictable, repeating rhythms that women force their behavior into. Within the veil of quiet hesitation, she reenacts the all-too-familiar situations: bitter silences, attempts to spare pride, bold-faced lies meant to soothe egos. No sparring conversation, no confrontation — instead a comment about the weather to smooth the waters. Meek and retiring, Lindeman quietly remarks “it seemed to me luxury would be to be not so ashamed,” and what does shame spring from if not fear? Shyness is a veil, a protection. Here’s Lindeman bare-faced, if you dare meet her gaze.
Also check out Lindeman’s first, musing single “Way It Is, Way I Could Be.”