Empress Of has shared "Woman Is a Word" as a b-side to last year’s excellent Me. Here producer Lorely Rodríguez hits all the thematic checkpoints from her debut, blending personal lyrics with tantalizing self-actualized pop. Listening it is hard to understand how the song didn’t make it to the album’s final tracklist.
"I’m only a woman if woman is a word," sings Rodríguez as a clattering rhythm announces her arrival. The track wants to outsize labels that can be limiting or even damaging. Writer Julianne Escobedo Shepherd put it best when she pointed to the song's “internal struggle of proving you’re not a cookie cut-out of some stereotype, nor that you are hindered by your gender.” Empress Of calms her frustration painting with synths. Broad strokes fill the canvas with florid washes. They sustain her to the end, until there is a near ceremonious swing to the beats. As ornate as a Baroque dance, but completely liberated.