Few bands mesh the political with the personal, the altruistic with the artistic, quite like Rosie & the Riveters. With their honeyed vocal harmonies, vintage 40s-era look, and conscious lyrics, the Saskatoon-based trio of Farideh Olsen, Alexis Normand, and Allyson Reigh are fast emerging as folk/pop icons for the ages. Which makes their second album, the blisteringly proto-feminist yet ridiculously accessible Ms. Behave (out April 6), tailor-made the #MeToo Movement.
Scratch that: Ms. Behave is tailor-made for the human movement which is finally elevating women’s place within it. That’s echoed in Rosie & the Riveters’ newest single, the candlelit and searing “I Believe You.” Beyond being a beacon to survivors of sexual assault, the track directs all proceeds towards long-standing women’s advocacy and empowerment org YWCA which in 2014, incidentally, posited that only 33 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults in Canada are reported to the police.
That initiative dovetails with the trio’s ongoing commitment to assisting women in the developing world via microloans distributed through online platform Kiva.org. To date, Rosie & the Riveters have raised nearly $10,000 for some 200 women’s projects in places like Africa and South America. Considering that microloans of $100 or less can be game-changers, that sum is awesome.
Even those focused only on music get a clear sense of the trio’s progressive worldview via songs like the tongue-in-cheek corker “Ask a Man,” the swaggering, anti-backbiting ode “Let ‘Em Talk,” and the parity-please anthem “Gotta Get Paid” co-written with Matthew Barber that's part of a strategy to challenge and expand the trio’s creative process by collaborating with outsiders. Co-writers on the new album also include Royal Wood, Tim Abraham, and Robyn Dell'Unto.
Band member Alexis Normand spoke with Samaritanmag from a tour stop in New York — the second date in a 30-day run stretching from Vancouver to Newfoundland and hitting many spots in between — about her band’s charitable work and why giving a voice to the voiceless is so darn humbling. – Continue reading Kim Hughes’ Q&A with Rosie and the Riveters on SamaritanMag.