Through vocal runs and creeping violins, Jennifer Femme tells a story of self-awareness in her new single “Smokescreen”. The track starts with a strum of a guitar and Femme telling the story in her higher register. The story is accompanied by echoing background vocals and strings that weave their way into the story seamlessly.
Jennifer Femme begins her tale with the imagery of a boiling pot of sorrows. The narrator proposes that she jumps into the steaming pot of water. The lyric is a statement: it’s matter-of-fact and refuses to be shameful. As Femme describes her gravitation towards self-detriment it’s hard not to wonder why she subjects herself to it.
As the narrator extends her metaphor, she describes this dynamic as something that has affected her since a young age. As described in the chorus, this “smokescreen” clouds her vision and turns her friends into foes. She describes this process of hers like she’s moving “one step forward and ten steps back”. Femme uses the same tone in the intro while singing the chorus. The narrator is not in search of sympathy.
It becomes clear that Jennifer Femme’s multi-layered metaphor of the “smokescreen” is her describing her mental health. As her mental health leads her into sorrow, there is also a sense of accountability. Femme states that “to a certain extent, we brought this on ourselves”. She doesn’t make excuses for why she acts this way and instead owns it. As self-aware as Femme is, she laments that “we keep ourselves this way”, claiming that although we may try to heal ourselves, this is who we are.
Jennifer Femme tells her story wonderfully through the folk track “Smokescreen”. Femme reminds us to acknowledge how we operate in the world. We all have our own pot of sorrows. The better we are at understanding the smoke that clouds our judgement, the more prepared we will be to combat that smokescreen.
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