The Highwomen’s ‘Redesigning Women': Hear the Supergroup’s Debut Single
The Highwomen -- the all-female collective comprised of Americana star Brandi Carlile, singer-songwriter Natalie Hemby, country star Maren Morris and singer, songwriter and fiddler extraordinaire Amanda Shires -- have released their first official single. The quartet dropped "Redesigning Women" (very) early Friday (July 19).
The first song from a forthcoming album produced by Dave Cobb, "Redesigning Women" begins with a blues-y guitar lick and features all four women on vocals, singing about "workin' hard to look good 'til we die" and "breakin' every Jell-O mold." Hemby co-wrote the song with Rodney Clawson; Carlile's collaborators, Phil and Tim Hanseroth, play bass and acoustic guitar, respectively, while Shires' husband, Jason Isbell, plays electric guitar.
"Redesigning women / Runnin' the world while we're cleanin' up the kitchen / Makin' bank, shakin' hands, drivin' 80 / Tryin' to get home just to feed the babies," the Highwomen sing in the chorus. "Skippin' the bread for the butter / Changin' our minds like we change our hair color / Ever since the beginning, we've been redesigning women ..."
"Redesigning Women" is both a serious and lighthearted reflection on the many roles women play: Carlile, Hemby, Morris and Shires sing both about being "a critical reason there's a population" and "made in God's image / Just a better version" over an organ-driven melody. "If the shoe fits, we're gonna buy 11," they add, before asking "How do we do it? / Makin' it up as we go along."
The Highwomen -- the group's name was inspired by another iconic country supergroup, the Highwaymen (no, it's not a pot reference) -- came to be, in part, because of a desire to foster connections between female artists and help continue the strong tradition of women in country music that the collective's members enjoyed growing up. "Almost all of us are mothers of young girls. And we all grew up listening to country music. We recognize that we're in a time right now where our daughters don't have the same country music heroes that we had," Carlile explains.
"Our goal is simply to elevate all women and completely abandon the concept of competing with one another," she continues. "So that we can let as many women through the door as possible, and give our girls those country music heroes that we all had."
The Highwomen will premiere their "Redesigning Women" music video at 10AM ET on Friday. They'll make their official live debut at the 2019 Newport Folk Festival, which is scheduled for July 26-28 in Rhode Island, and their album will be out on Sept. 6.
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