Post by Misha
When Haleigh Bowers sent me this song I was expecting an acoustic powerhouse gem, as I’ve come to expect from her powerful live performances. Instead, DKW greeted me with rich, minimalistic vocoder layers and lyrics that put goosebumps on my skin.
This song is something raw and personal, putting a voice to the dark spiral of self-doubt. The opening verse echoes in silence, alone, a laundry list of fears recited by the sad, efficient demon inside. And as the song builds and builds to a cacophonous, hyperventilating near-hysteria, the floor drops out and the depthlessness of this terror blinks up from the darkness:
I don’t know why you love me.
You must be crazy. No one should love me.
The lines are mantra-like, as though brute force repetition can make sense of them. Bowers says of DKW:
“I wrote this song in one sitting with one of my best friends (and producer) Sam Vendig. It was just us and a vocoder. In that moment, I let out all of my mess and poured it onto the pages. All the things that I believed made me unlovable. My fears, my quirky tendencies, my insecurities… All of it. And also in that moment, I truly believed that those were valid reasons why someone shouldn’t love me.”
The song’s structure is unconventional, honoring the dynamics of a feeling rather than a traditional verse-chorus-verse trajectory. Bowers says that in creating the video for DKW – a gritty, feminine boxing concept – the song took on a new meaning for her, one more rooted in acceptance and embrace of the mess, and that to her the unusual structure also came to represent not playing by the rules, being untraditional and owning it.
The single art, created by Luke Austin, features legendary feminist pioneers, a nod to the strength and fortitude found through this song.