Welcome to Boombox Blitz, an artist spotlight series showcasing overlooked singers, songwriters and musicians who are quietly taking over the world.
Time’s up for country music, which (like most industries) has a long, storied history of sexism and abuse against women. “The scales are tippin’ and the veil is rippin’ and the clock is tickin’,” 23 strong, world-weary women roar in succession. Song Suffragettes, a weekly all-woman showcase at Nashville’s Listening Room (details here), have been at the forefront of change, alongside such campaigns as CMT’s Next Women of Country and Change the Conversation, initiatives which have arisen in recent years to combat the gross mistreatment of women not only on the airwaves but at festivals, award shows and other high-profile avenues. Together, they send up a chilling rallying cry with “Time’s Up,” a somber tune calling out the “ruthless, the wicked and the vain,” also known as straight white men.
Taking its name from Time’s Up, a movement founded in 2006 and which gained further traction last year following sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein (and the subsequent wave of revelations), the song is written by Kalie Shorr and Lacy Green and zags between Queen-sized stomping, punchy piano and soul-tearing harmonies. “Time’s up for the cheaters ’cause now the game has changed / It’s been a long time coming, a new day dawning, gonna stop your running today,” the singers trade off on the first verse, eerie chords flittering away in the background.
In the accompanying visual, filmed on the outskirts of Nashville, 23 woman stand together in solidarity against a system built to hurt them. Joining Shorr are Candi Carpenter, Tasji Bachman, Chloe Gilligan, Mignon, Gracie Schram, Tiera, Jenna Paulette, Emma White, Jordyn Mallory, Regan Stewart, Emma Lynn White, Kim Paige, Jenna McDaniel, Madison Kozak, Jenny Ray, Tenille Arts, Tristan McIntosh, Tia Scola, Alexis Gomez, Trannie Stevens and Lena Stone. “Our time is now / Our time has come,” they sing, linking arms in the final few frames. They’re all dressed in black, a trademark of the Time’s Up movement, also highlighted at the recent Golden Globes ceremony.
“The team behind Song Suffragettes hustled so hard to make this project come to life making our idea a reality,” Shorr says in a press release. “I have been so inspired by this whole reckoning that’s been happening and it just felt so obvious to connect that to what we do at Song Suffragettes.”
Proceeds go to benefit the Time’s Up organization.
On the official Time’s Up website, the organization issued a powerful Letter of Solidarity to the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance and all minority workers across the country and announced a new legal fund, formed by more than 300 prominent writers, directors, actresses and agents, from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington to Shonda Rimes, Emma Stone and America Ferrera. “To the members of Alianza and farmworker women across the country, we see you, we thank you, and we acknowledge the heavy weight of our common experience of being preyed upon, harassed, and exploited by those who abuse their power and threaten our physical and economic security,” the letter reads, which you can see in full below.
“Now, unlike ever before, our access to the media and to important decision makers has the potential of leading to real accountability and consequences,” it continues. “We want all survivors of sexual harassment, everywhere, to be heard, to be believed and to know that accountability is possible.”
Too often harassment “persists because perpetrators and employers never face any consequences. This is often because survivors, particularly those working in low-wage industries, don’t often have the resources to fight back.”
“We remain committed to holding our own workplaces accountable, pushing for swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone, and telling women’s stories through our eyes and voices with the goal of shifting our society’s perception and treatment of women.”