SINGLE REVIEW: In Birth by Witch Fever
We've been keeping a keen eye on the Manchester four-piece this year, with recent singles In The Resurrect, which featured on our Discovery playlist, and EP title-track Reincarnate captivating us with their deliciously dark alt-punk flavour. And with a name like Witch Fever - inspired by the hysteria of the witch trials, which the band have long considered were a means to suppress and diminish women - how could we not be obsessed with this band.
Newest bite In Birth continues to broaden Witch Fever's rich soundscape and takes a more personal route lyrically, as Amy Walpole's (vocals) semi-autobiographical lyrics deal being born into a Charismatic Christian church where patriarchal structures and predatory behaviour were rife.
"In Birth has been kicking around for a little while now, so it’s nice to finally exorcise it into the world", says Amy. "Whilst the theme of a lot of our songs is reclamation, empowerment and catharsis, it’s definitely far more vulnerable. It felt right to juxtapose this with big chuggy riffs and noisy, cymbal-heavy drums. The power that Alisha, Alex and Annabelle create on this track accompanies the anger in my lyrics perfectly."
Inviting you in with a thick, thumping bassline and a sharp crashing of cymbals, In Birth turns you on your head with its tenacious chorus. "Are you ready, ready?" beckons Amy, as you're slammed head-first into a full-throttle pummelling of fury, fronted by guttural power from Amy, and backed by Alex's brooding vocals. Amy's tangible anger is at the forefront of the track, spewing lines like "I'll fucking eat you alive" with a visceral vengeance. It's fucking brutal, in the best way possible.
With the new single, Witch Fever fuse their talents to spit out a vigorous and demanding reckoning that grabs you by the throat and commands your attention - and we can't fucking look away.
The music video for In Birth is equally striking, as Amy's bandmates rejoice in her symbolic reclamation via a Carrie-esque blood-crowning. Amy comments, "We created and directed the video with Sam O’Leary and it’s a tongue-in-cheek way of presenting the narrative. We wanted something camp and fun, but still powerful and angry. Plus, everything's better with a bucket of fake blood!"
The new single is taken from debut EP Reincarnate, which will be released on 29th October (very fitting time for all us Halloween lovers), and a 12” physical vinyl that will be available on 3rd December, exclusive to indie record stores. Considering the impact on independent venues and record stores throughout the pandemic, Witch Fever make a point to support what keeps alternative music alive in the UK.
Commenting on the EP, bassist Alex explains: "There’s a big emphasis on female empowerment and female anger. It’s about celebrating yourself and self-expression. Not being stifled and held back."
"The overall lyrical content is a cross between biblical and horror imagery as a way to explore empowerment, catharsis and anger," says Amy, as we can already see with In Birth. "It’s about owning my sexuality, my body and channelling my anger through music. With every piece of music we write we want to break the boundaries of a typical ‘Witch Fever’ song and push ourselves as musicians to keep evolving and getting out of our comfort zones! The more brutal the better!"
And we fucking love brutal here at Rock Coven, so we can't wait to eat that shit up!
2. In The Resurrect
4. In Birth
6. Bully Boy
Review by Chloe Robbins
Photography by Debbie Ellis