Powerful single from Saskatoon-based Rosie and the Riveters debuted exclusively billboard.com
A Saskatoon-based band with a Prince Albert connection is making headlines with their latest single tackling the public reckoning surrounding sexual misconduct.
I Believe You is the title of the latest single from Rosie and the Riveters, a three-woman group known for its classic folky sound. The band consists of Farideh Olsen, Alexis Normand and Allyson Reigh. Reigh is from Prince Albert, and her family still lives here.
According to the band’s about section on its website, the band never planned to get political, but consuming news “made it impossible to see the status of women around the world and stay silent.”
As a result, the group recorded their sophomore album, Ms. Behave, a collection of vintage-inspired folk anthems that “paint a portrait of a woman’s voice in a man’s world.”
They wrote over 40 songs in a cabin in the north before heading to Toronto to record. The album drops in April.
“When we sat down to write the album we’ll be releasing in April, we thought about things that are important to our heart and important to write about,” Reigh said when reached by phone.
“We wrote this song in support of survivors and to let people know that they’re not alone.”
The single draws from experiences the group has either heard about or read about, as well as their own personal experience. It came together quite quickly.
“It was a pretty powerful song writing experience for us,” she said.
“Our job as artists is to get to the heart of the matter. For us, we wanted to represent things close to us as human beings, so we wanted to contribute to the conversation that is finally happening on a wider scale at the moment. That doesn’t mean things are easier or better for many, many people, but we hope our contribution is healing in some way.”
The music video for the single is shot simply, in black and white, with men and women from a variety of backgrounds holding signs with simple messages, either saying they believe women, or they believe LGBTQ+ people, or with lines such as “you were asking for it” crossed out.
Including a wide variety of backgrounds was important to the band.
“”We want to make sure our message is reflective of all survivors of all backgrounds of all walks of life,” Reigh said.
“We focused on creating a video that represents everyone in Saskatchewan, in Canada, and beyond. It was really important to us to focus on the message of the song and the beauty of the message, and the strength and resilience of survivors.”
That message — I believe you — can be extremely powerful.
“In our society, we really put the responsibility for the assaults on the survivors when that is completely backwards. The responsibility of the assaults lay fully on the shoulders of the perpetrators,” she said.
“Hearing the words ‘I believe you’ is very cathartic, and what we’ve heard in other people’s responses to the song is that those three words have really resonated with them. We’ve received a lot of feedback just thanking us for using that simple message to reach so many people.”
There has been a lot of feedback, and it has been overwhelmingly positive. The song is making the rounds on social media, and billboard.com released the video.
“I think that just speaks to the importance of the message. It’s bigger than us, it’s bigger than our band, and it’s about reaching people, connecting with people,” Reigh said.
“it’s a simple message but it has a big impact.”
To make that message even bigger, the band is donating all proceeds from the song to organizations that help survivors of violence and sexual assault. In Canada, those donations will flow to the YWCA to be redistributed to organizations working with survivors nationwide.
The single can be found on Youtube, Apple Music, and Spotify. Digital and physical copies of the album Ms. Behave can also be found on the band’s official website, www.rosieandtheriveters.com.
The band also has tour dates lined up between now and late May. They’ll be at Third Avenue United Church in Saskatoon on Friday, May 11.