CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses domestic violence in detail, and contains a video which features styalised scenes containing domestic violence. For 24-hour support, dial 1800RESPECT.
Modern life has no shortage of issues to care about. Between plague, war and ecological disaster, there’s almost too much to care about. However when one issue is taking the life of 1 Australian woman a week, and has affected more than 2 million of us since the age of 15, this issue should certainly be getting more noise than it is. On account of this lack of noise, domestic violence has become a silent, indiscriminate killer that knows not of gender or age.
This week, Meanjin punks Semantics have unleashed an almighty ruckus in the name of fighting domestic violence, in a move that will forever impede the silence going forward with their new cut, ‘This Love Could Kill You’, lifted from their forthcoming album Paint Me Blue out Friday, 20th May via SideOneDummy.
Both song and video combine to strengthen the songs impact, with both highlighting and exploring tropes, behaviours, motifs and other almost imperceptible signs of domestic violence and abuse. ‘This Love Could Kill You’ doesn’t just focus on the external wounds and visible marks that come with abuse, but also on the subtle, telling glances, the rising temperatures, the loaded but light touches and other hallmarks of abuse that are all too often ignored.
“We sadly have multiple friends who have been victims of domestic violence and abuse. The perspective in this song switches between the victim and the friend as we investigate abuse. The goal is to shed light on red flags we wished we had seen as friends of these victims and hopefully bring attention to the disturbing frequency of these relationships. The subject matter is sensitive, and it’s really hard to connect artistically as an outsider to these events, but as most people fall in the outsider ratio, it’s important to us to bring these signs to the forefront and ask the question, are we paying attention? We hope the song connects from an angle we haven’t been exposed to enough ourselves.”
Using their expert handle on the soundscapes of modern indie punk rock, Semantics have encapsulated this poignant message within a droning, power-chord driven package. Much like the subject matter, Semantics aren’t here to fuck around with smoke and mirrors, laying out the track in a no-bullshit way that lets the story, and the important messages within, be heard with the stricking clarity it deserves.