In 'Domestication,' Laura Gibson Dons A White Dress And Wreaks Havoc Gibson's new single is a warm, searching beauty that swoops dramatically through a treatise on wolves, womanhood and the pressure she feels to "make me into somebody easy."
YouTube

Music

In 'Domestication,' Laura Gibson Dons A White Dress And Wreaks Havoc

Laura Gibson has made her name somewhere between the quiet and the disquieting: in spare, hushed moments that seem engineered to soundtrack late nights of solitude and introspection. (It's hardly a secret that straining to hear a Laura Gibson show is what inspired the creation of Tiny Desk concerts 10 years ago.)

But on her last few records, Gibson has grown louder, bolder and occasionally weirder in songs that can thunder ominously. Goners, which comes out later this month, is her most adventurous yet: a collection of songs about grief and introspection that don't just turn inward for examination. "Domestication," the album's new single, is an instantly gratifying gem: a warm, searching beauty that swoops dramatically through a treatise on wolves, womanhood and the pressure she feels to "make me into somebody easy."

"The song 'Domestication' took form as a fable, the story of wolf trying and failing to live as a woman," Gibson writes via email. "I was thinking a lot about shape-shifting. Wolves and dogs seemed to haunt my lyrics on Goners. I spent some time alone in the mountains of Oregon, while working on these songs. Wolves lived in the state until the late 1940s, when they were hunted and trapped into extinction. They were reintroduced in Idaho in the 1990s and have been slowly moving west. I've been obsessed with tracing their progress. The summer of 2017, as I was working on these lyrics, the first mating pair of wolves in half a century was spotted on Mount Hood. What, within my lifetime, has only ever seemed a distant, mythical, fairy-tale creature, is now is an actual animal living life near me.

"The fable form gave me the language and the bravery to explore more personal things," she continues. "In short: Still, at times, though I know better, I'll catch myself thinking in terms of what I should desire of womanhood instead of what I actually desire. I catch myself feeling I am failing at something, at some ideal I was never actually aiming for.

"I finished these lyrics a year ago. It's strange to release the song now, when it feels so much is coming to a head. So much has cracked open for women, in the year since writing 'Domestication.' So much remains the same.

"Though I'd meant 'domestication' in the animal sense, when it came time to make the video, I liked the idea of using the term in the homemaking sense. I'd been obsessed with this photo I'd found of the pastel women of the FLDS cult, and wanted to build a world and a story around the aesthetic — something like the speculative societies of Margaret Atwood or Ursula Le Guin. At the end of the story, I wanted the women to act like wolves.

"It was a huge amount of work to pull off and I was so thankful to collaborate with director Alicia Rose, an incredible force of knowledge and skill. I've learned so much from her. My mom sewed all those dresses. My friend Eden and I dyed them pastel colors in my backyard. So many friends helped."

Goners comes out Oct. 26 via Barsuk.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

River Whyless performs on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

River Whyless On Mountain Stage

River Whyless brought its third album and adventurous musicianship to the Mountain Stage.

River Whyless On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/674725752/674741416" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Amy Helm performs on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Amy Helm On Mountain Stage

Amy Helm and her band choose to let the music do the talking, delivering a powerful, four-song set packed with musicality, soul and candor.

Amy Helm On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/667870035/667879787" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The War And Treaty perform on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

The War And Treaty On Mountain Stage

Listen to the soulful, genre-bending husband-and-wife duo perform hits from its latest album, Healing Tide.

The War And Treaty On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/662955963/662967117" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Leo Kottke performs on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Leo Kottke On Mountain Stage

In his 10th appearance on Mountain Stage, Kottke proves he has lost none of his dexterity and musicianship.

Leo Kottke On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/660595178/660608423" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Phoebe Bridgers performs at the 2018 Newport Folk Festival. Christopher Hall/Mixtape Magazine hide caption

toggle caption Christopher Hall/Mixtape Magazine

Phoebe Bridgers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

The 2018 Slingshot artist performed songs that unspool with a sonic ease that feel refreshing, even for an overheated festival audience.

Phoebe Bridgers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630619429/652531683" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Wood Brothers on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

The Wood Brothers On Mountain Stage

Listen to this trio of expert musicians perform lively cuts from their sixth studio album, One Drop of Truth.

The Wood Brothers On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/649302333/649316020" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage

Sonny Landreth On Mountain Stage

Hear Landreth's first fully acoustic set in his 10 appearances on Mountain Stage since 1995, featuring Dave Ranson on ukulele bass and Brian Brignac on cajon and percussion.

Sonny Landreth On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/645295215/645306287" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Laurie Lewis with Tom Rozum on mandolin, Max Schwartz on bass, Tatiana Hargreaves on fiddle and Justin Hiltner on banjo. Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage

Laurie Lewis And The Right Hands On Mountain Stage

Lewis is joined by Tom Rozum on mandolin, Max Schwartz on bass, Tatiana Hargreaves on fiddle and Justin Hiltner on banjo.

Laurie Lewis And The Right Hands On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/643289318/643297236" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top