There was a interesting article in The Guardian
a few months back about why only female songwriters are described as confessional: ‘A male songwriter might play on the same themes as a female songwriter and it’s assumed that the girl is singing from her diary, and the boy is making statements on the big themes of life
.’ Consequently a lot of female artists hate to be called confessional. As if they could only sing about what actually happened to them and men instead get to create ideas and true art.
Now I’m quite sure that my songs deal with big theme’s - death, destruction, faith, love and alienation, to name a few - but there’s also this guilt/atonement/redemption thing going on. Like in this song, so maybe I am a confessional songwriter. And maybe this is a confessional song - even though I’m not sharing any secrets - I’m just trying to find words for what bothers me, trying to explore the nature of guilt and ways to overcome it.
Part of me wants to side with the tough girls and condemn all references to confessional songwriting as meek and biased, and then part of me wants to stand up for the confessional girls of the past -when they were true, honest, brave and capable enough to transform the personal into a Grand Theme.