Melbourne band The Royal Parks created a music video to compel us to reject the male gaze norm

Amy Arnott from folk band The Royal Parks. Image by Tearlach Wales

Amy Arnott from folk band The Royal Parks. Image by Tearlach Wales

Melbourne folk group The Royal Parks have a new video for a single called In The Wrong which takes an intimate look at women, zooming right in as they recount the times they felt they were not being heard. Vocalist Amy Arnott is proud of the collaboration with film maker and triple j presenter Nkechi Anele. The two aim to have women's experiences be considered and appreciated, and Nkechi says, "We're proud to support such a beautiful track, which delves into the topic of women's voices being undervalued in our society and the power of vulnerability."

Fellow band member Dan Arnott says, "In The Wrong explores some of the trappings of masculinity; my mum, my sister and my girlfriend kept telling me I wasn’t listening enough. It wasn’t until they told me that they felt as though I wasn’t respecting their opinions or perspectives that I stopped, and really tried to listen and change my behaviour, and see things from their perspective.”

Amy Arnott took some time to talk to Music Love about the new video which is from their very cool album Suburb Home. Make sure you listen to this album - the harmonies and melodies are straight from Folk Heaven. 

The Royal Parks. Image by Tearlach Wales

The Royal Parks. Image by Tearlach Wales

In The Wrong has an anti-male gaze approach, seeing women for who they are; as deep thinking, substantial individuals rather than focusing on their attractiveness or palatability.”
— Amy Arnott, member of The Royal Parks

What does music mean to you?

Music means a few different things to me – I love dancing to pop music, and I love singing daggy music theatre songs, especially Disney, and I love folk music as its been a part of my family and really my whole life. Singing harmonies with my bro feels pretty special sometimes.

Tell us about your group’s name, The Royal Parks 

Royal Park is a beautiful park in Melbourne’s north, with beautiful native wetlands, gumtrees and native grasses – yet it has all been planted. Royal Park was a place for ceremony for the Wurundjeri people before some very awful things happened – so this beautiful place filled with native plants has a complex history and as a non-Indigenous band in Australia we felt it summed up the complexities of being white-fellas who benefit from colonized city.

Tell us about your new song In The Wrong

My brother Dan wrote In the Wrong when he realised he wasn’t actively listening to the women in his life as much as he could be. It’s about how we can often see women’s insights as not as important as men’s. The focus of the song is that the more we acknowledge this pattern, the more we can tend away from these negative habits and empower the women in our lives to be heard.

 

What is the philosophy behind the video?

The video has an anti-male gaze approach, seeing women for who they are; as deep thinking, substantial individuals rather than focusing on their attractiveness or palatability. I asked the women in the video to think about a time they felt vulnerable, overlooked or not heard and then juxtaposed this with a time they felt supported and empowered. What really comes through for me, is the strength and character of all these faces, which reflects a wider strength and resilience of women in general.

Suburb Home is a beautiful album – have you been happy with its reception this year?

Thanks! Yeah we’ve had lots of great feedback from family, friends and strangers – we would love for the album to go as far and wide as it can – with so much great music out there its hard to get a sense of how far it could go but for people who have listened to it we’ve had great feedback.

What next for the Royal Parks, and for Amy? 

I’m a teacher! I love my job teaching drama and dance to young women. We’ll hopefully record another album next year and continue to sing songs as much as we can!

Who are your favourite women in music?

Nkechi from Saskwatch is a friend of mine and she blows me away. There are so many amazing women who sing beautiful songs in Melbourne – Al Parkinson, Amarina Waters, and Hannah Cameron just to name a few! Women have such important stories to tell and its so amazing to see them being told.

Suburb Home is out now

Follow The Royal Parks on Facebook, and Instagram
 

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