Childbirth: Letting loose

by Brent Cole

Comprised of three members from Seattle’s best indie pop bands, Childbirth is a nearly perfect super group – a band utilized to let loose and have fun among friends while singing about feminism and other social issues. Featuring members Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, Bree McKenna of TacocaT, and Stacy Peck of Pony Time, the trio’s music and lyrics are loose but poignant with a strong message.

Childbirth got their start in 2013 after Stacy and Julia ran into each other at a Team Dresch show. The two had connected prior when Stacy’s band Redbook played with Julia’s band Chastity Belt. With an obvious musical connection, the two began writing songs. Enter Bree from TacocaT, who had been in a relationship with Stacy two years prior – one that had ended poorly, leaving the two not on speaking terms. They had just begun talking to each other again as Stacy was starting to write songs with Julia. The three played music one night and realized there was something special happening. Childbirth was born.

The trio, who perform in maternity gowns, quickly released a song which ended up at #9 on Spin’s Best Singles of 2014 and gained national attention on the websites Pitchfork and Vice Magazine. The band, already considered an indie rock super group, was now legendary.

With Childbirth’s forthcoming album, Women’s Rights, the subject matter includes a trashy friend bringing coke to a baby shower (“Baby Bump”), characteristics that warrant an instant ‘swipe left’ on Tinder (“Siri, Open Tinder”), and dating vapid IT personalities (“Tech Bro.”) Lyrics on Women’s Rights are highly quotable: “I’ll let you explain feminism to me/If I can use your HD TV” (on “Tech Bro”). The album is being released by SuicideSqueeze, home of such notable acts as Audacity and Minus the Bear. The band’s debut record, It’s a Girl, was released in January  2014, on Help Yourself Records, the local imprint for Chastity Belt’s No Regrets.

While the band’s lyrics are “piss your pants funny,” (stated in their bio), they aren’t without substantive backing, “We have a very feminist agenda when it comes to our music,” stated the band matter of factly. It’s social commentary done with a laugh and a smile, sneakily so a message is getting across in a lighthearted manner instead of heavy-handedly.

Musically, Childbirth’s sound is stripped down and raw, punchy yet uncontrollably dancy. There is an element of lightheartedness in their actions, helping to swallow the difficult social commentary a little easier. They fit perfectly into an already vibrant aspect of the Seattle pop scene.

“We really like the bands in our community like Wimps, Mommy Long Legs, So Pitted, Lisa Prank, Boyfriends, Vexx, Universe People, SSDD,” the band said in a recent interview.

With their upcoming release, the band will be playing shows, while juggling the busy schedule of their other bands (Chastity Belt was recently on tour in Europe while TacocaT has an upcoming show with Death Cab for Cutie at the Paramount Theater).

Published in the September 2015 issue of What’s Up!