Rebecca Lucy Taylor Self Esteem British Bisexual pop singer Montreux Jazz Festival
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July 7, 2022
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Self Esteem is turning up the heat at the Montreux Jazz Festival

On the empty stage, there is only the lettering printed on the standing bass drum to see: “Keep lyrics uncomfortable”, it reads, before Rebecca Lucy Taylor and her band emerge in a bang, the blue and purple lights reflecting on their all-white clothes. A couple of explosive songs later, the stance was on it: Self Esteem doesn’t shy away from thorny subjects and does so beautifully and powerfully.

Self Esteem was on stage on Tuesday at the Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland as a foretaste for her announced UK and Ireland 2023 tour, “I Tour This All The Time”, echoing her iconic single, “I Do This All The Time”.

The bisexual icon came up with a sensible, sensual, and yet powerful performance, effortlessly switching between sexy spoken words and punchy vocals. On stage, her confidence is contagious and her lyrics become anthems we all sang in unison. There was something cathartic in spectating her show as a young lesbian surrounded by hundreds of other young women. When Taylor yelled “Having sex with women!” as an opening to her well-known single “Girl Crush”, I couldn’t help but feel exhilarated. Having pop icons being ostensibly queer and not afraid to stand for what isn’t discussed enough, using their platform to open up about sexist and sexual violence, gender performance, or mental health, is major and needs to be amplified.

Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s stage name is what all womxn need more, and her last album, Prioritise Pleasure, is exactly what I needed to hear as a young woman entering her 20s. The opening song of the album, “I’m Fine”, compiles womxn's testimonies of sexual assaults and claps back to the everyday violence womxn faces with a loud bark back. The whole album is a counterblast and an incentive to put yourself first, to stand up for what you want, and, of course, smash the patriarchy.

© FFJM 2022 Marc Ducrest

Article by Chloé Bruère-Dawson

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