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

Tajette O'Halloran/Courtesy of the artist

Jen Cloher, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

Jen Cloher came to Newport with a fervor matched only by her volume.

Jen Cloher, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630590575/682317893" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images

Curtis Harding, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

Harding woke up the Newport crowd with the soul-rock hybrid he calls "slop 'n' soul."

Curtis Harding, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630245957/682012943" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Frederick "Toots" Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals performs at Coachella in 2017. Katie Stratton/Getty Images for Coachella hide caption

toggle caption Katie Stratton/Getty Images for Coachella

Toots And The Maytals​, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

The oldest song Toots and The Maytals played, "I'll Never Grow Old," captured the spirit Toots Hibbert brought to the show. This will warm up your New Year's celebrations like nothing else.

Toots And The Maytals​, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630843648/680751003" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Shakey Graves at the Newport Folk Festival 2018. Adam Kissick/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick/NPR

Shakey Graves, Live In Concert: Newport 2018

Austin singer-songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia, aka Shakey Graves, began his Newport Folk Festival set by raising a little hell.

Shakey Graves, Live In Concert: Newport 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630621646/680533174" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Glen Hansard performs at the Newport Folk Festival 2018. Adam Kissick/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick/NPR

Glen Hansard, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

From a Swell Season favorite and traditional Irish tunes to a live collaboration with The War and Treaty, Glen Hansard's performance was enthralling.

Glen Hansard, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630481657/680300609" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jon Batiste led a star-studded cast, including Mavis Staples, through the civil rights-themed set A Change Is Gonna Come. Adam Kissick/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick/NPR

A Change Is Gonna Come, Live In Concert : Newport Folk 2018

Jon Batiste led a star-studded cast — including Mavis Staples, the Dap-Kings, Chris Thile and Brandi Carlile — through the civil rights-themed set.

A Change Is Gonna Come, Live In Concert : Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630204697/679274298" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Adam Kissick/for NPR

Courtney Barnett, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

There's electricity in the atmosphere at Newport Folk Festival as evening begins. As the penultimate performer on the main stage, Courtney Barnett's return to Newport felt like cause for celebration.

Courtney Barnett, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630244520/678382628" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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">
Back To Top