Sweet Soubrette - Homewrecker
New York City’s Sweet Soubrette is a ukulele-powered indie rock band with dark, poetic lyrics, songs that tell stories, and lush instrumentation. Sweet Soubrette’s edgy love songs explore troubled romance, works of literature, and the mysteries of existence, featuring the songwriting, vocals and ukulele of Ellia Bisker and a talented backing band.
In this exclusive weekly series for Feminist Wednesday, Ellia talks about some of Sweet Soubrette’s songs that take on themes relating to the modern female experience. Each song is paired with an image of Ellia by Brooklyn-based photographer Emily Raw. The two artists have been working together on various photo and video projects since 2007.
Homewrecker, from Sweet Soubrette’s first album, Siren Song, is one of several songs that explore the theme of bad women or femmes fatales. The term “Homewrecker” is an epithet, a negative label, and it always refers to the other woman: she’s an object, not a subject. But life is complicated. Sometimes you find yourself on the wrong side of history, in love with the wrong person, in the wrong in other people’s eyes or even in your own.
However morally problematic, it’s still a real experience, and a story worth telling, and there aren’t a lot of songs that offer any perspective on this sort of predicament. The song begins provocatively, almost boastfully, with a description of the homewrecker’s power, but it ends sympathetically – if not with remorse, then at least with a plea for understanding. Above all it’s a playful song (especially what I think of as the dark Andrews Sisters-eque harmonies), but I hope the listener ends up feeling a sense of compassion for a character we usually think of as the villain.