Video: Lauren Ruth Ward, ‘Wise Gal’

Lauren Ruth Ward (Photo by Tess O'Connor)

“I asked for sugar when I should’ve been making bread.”

With that line, Lauren Ruth Ward encapsulates a career arc that has seen her go from a hairstylist harboring dreams to a hairstylist with a rock band. It’s the chorus of the singer-songwriter’s bluesy stomp “Wise Gal,” the new single that’s out today. It’s another of Ward’s stream-of-consciousness autobiographical sketches — vignettes that, like those on her 2018 debut album “Well, Hell,” turn into hair-raising pep talks. She has every principal “self” covered: self-affirmation, self-reliance and self-motivation.

Ward’s music can be pretty and it can be gritty, and on either side of the pendulum she is not afraid to get dirty. “Wise Gal,” which finds Ward again working with songwriting partner Eduardo Rivera (and also features Stella Mogzawa of Warpaint on drums), arrives via a video directed by Nicol Biesek and Dri Sommer. Ward gets busy in the kitchen, and rarely has a whisk been put to such good use.

The singer-songwriter sets the scene: “Years before I came out of the closet as a musician I was just a show-going hairstylist to the artists I admired. I look back at those times and remember the attitude I had towards myself, which was more than just a lack of confidence. It was a reflection of the men I was dating who drank the patriarchy’s Kool-Aid, combined with the lack of women musicians in my community (I see, I do). This was 2004-2011.

“‘Wise Gal’ is about my realization that young Lauren surrounded herself with all things music to Band-Aid the thought of not being able to become a musician herself,” she continues. “It took her (us) a long time to listen to the voice that said ‘fuck the patriarchy, you are more than capable and you are your own support system!’ Nicol Biesek and Dri Sommer’s satirical approach to binary gender chores combined with my need to emote deep-seated frustrations on the traumatic concept felt perfectly cathartic.”

We just hope some dude was around to tidy up the kitchen after this one.

||| Watch: The video for “Wise Gal”

||| Also: Stream “We Are Grown Ups” and “Pullstring”

||| Live: Lauren Ruth Ward opens for Melanie Martinez on Nov. 9 at the Palladium. Tickets.

||| Previously: Live at the Observatory, live at the El Rey, “Sideways,” “Well, Hell”