Daily Dose: June West, “Island of Women”

Music Features June West
Daily Dose: June West, “Island of Women”

Daily Dose is your daily source for the one song you absolutely, positively need to hear every day. Curated by the Paste Music Team.

There’s a sun-kissed glory to June West’s music, something like the Montana landscape amid which she was born, sprawling in glacial panes and desert rays. We haven’t had the chance to hear much of this yet—her 2016 release “Peaks & Valleys,” was an early, brief taste. But in the two years since, the budding songstress relocated to the comparably sunny Tucson, Ariz., where she’s been gearing up to share her dreamy self-titled debut. Set to release this September, June West sees its namesake glistening at full force.

Here at Paste, we’re excited to offer a sneak peek of the album with the exclusive premiere of “Island of Women,” June West’s opening track. Wet guitar strums whir at the start of this song, with West’s voice filtering overhead. “Every man wants a suntan / From the Island of Women,” she begins, this first lyric marking the theme of the album. Her lyrics lean on these allusive images, altogether shaping the record’s story of womanhood and becoming.

“Island of Woman” was itself inspired by one such story: “A hitchhiker in Mexico once told me about Isla Mujeres, the most beautiful beach he had ever been to.” West tells Paste. She continues:

It was not far from where we were riding out a storm. Legend was pirates stashed women on the island like hoarded treasure.

Would the mysterious beauty of the Isla Mujeres dissolve at the hand of Man? What does a Man take from a Woman because He is entitled? What of our sexist president, a symbol of horror, greed and disrespect? Feminine empowerment, though a source of deep wisdom and magic, pervasively and paradoxically crutches upon the authority of the male gaze, the voyeur … I think to myself.

Hitchhiker says to me, “Every man wants a suntan from the Island of Women.”
I wonder, What does every womxn want?”

“Island of Women,” while perfect for relaxing on balmy summer nights, also pulses with the force of this feminine discourse. So kick back with some feminism and give the track a listen below. June West is out on Sept. 14 via Broken Circles.

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