Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Shilpa Ray unleashes furore and disdain on “Bootlickers of the Patriarchy”

New York songwriter Shilpa Ray has unleashed a new track into the world, taking on Senator Susan Collins and her infamous press conference after the Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford hearings. “Bootlickers of the Patriarchy” is as scornful as the title might suggest, full of rage that has long been simmering away. Speaking about the track and it’s creation, Ray says:

It’s about women who succeed from undermining the success of other women or choose to gain success from exploiting the oppression of other women. This is a character who has taken many forms throughout history, the kind of woman who seems perfectly content playing Gamma to the Alpha male. ‘Bootlicker’ is my direct challenge to the notion of ‘women supporting other women,’ as well as the falsehoods and unrealistic expectations that come with a statement like that.

I wrote the song to be played in two different arrangement styles, the first half being slow and haunting and the second going balls-to-the-wall rage. I was re-exploring a lot of industrial/proto-industrial music I had listened to as a teenager in the 90s and used some elements of synth/drum machine sounds to convey all that anger, panic and darkness.

The track follows this path, and almost feels like two versions of the song stuck together. The first half is a smokey, almost mournful ballad that evokes the bluesy jazz of the likes of Billie Holliday, piano chords bobbing about a misty atmosphere. Atop it Ray snarls and unfurls her disdain; “You think you can sell solidarity? / Bitch, don’t patronize me,” she asserts. Come the midpoint “Bootlickers of the Patriarchy” shifts gears and turns into a neo-industrial banger that only heightens the sense of rage in Ray’s words. It’s a unfettered groove, and come the end where the music slows down, Ray sounds ready to keep going for hours on end.

“Bootlickers of the Patriarchy” is out now digitally, but will be released as a 7″ via Northern Spy coupled with a cover of Ministry’s “I’m Not An Effigy” on the other side. Of her take on the track, Ray says, “I was obsessed with the Ministry album ‘With Sympathy’ when writing tracks for my next full length album. It is the record Al Jourgenson has stated multiple times that he’s ashamed of most, which is saying a lot considering this man’s autobiography. I teamed up with my friend Heather Elle of Flossing, formerly of post punk bands Bodega and The Wants for this collaboration. It’s my first official recorded track where I’m playing guitar, so as the saying goes, it’s never too late to pick up a new instrument and get totally lost in it.

Listen to “Bootlickers of the Patriarchy” below, or via your preferred streaming site.

“Bootlickers of the Patriarchy” is out now digitally and will be released on 7″ next year via Northern Spy (pre-order here). Stay up to date with Shilpa Ray on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.