Singer-Songwriter Modern Sonder Teams Up With UWS Midwives For A Celebration of International Day Of The Midwife – ‘With Women’ [Review]

By Daniel Thomson

Glasgow based singer-songwriter Modern Sonder (Jazz Dey) has released a beautiful new track alongside the University of the West of Scotland midwives in aid of midwifery scholarships. After releasing her excellent EP ‘Crisis, Grace and Growth’ back in October, the artist has returned with this sea-shanty style song for International Day of the Midwife 2021 (05/05/21). The tune is available on Bandcamp now for the minimum price of £1.00 with the option to donate more, with all profits headed towards this wonderful cause.

Modern Sonder had this to say about the song:

“I was so lucky and honoured to get to spend an afternoon with the amazing midwives of UWS to help them write a sea shanty in dedication to the amazing work midwives do. . .proceeds from this track go towards helping people realise their dreams of becoming a midwife, in spite of any financial barriers they might face. The track is also dedicated to Mums everywhere. . .it’s clear that midwives themselves are in complete awe of you, and insist that you’re all superheroes wherever you are on your journey, you have an army behind you, who will always be ready to help set your sails for your journey into Motherhood.”
Modern Sonder

‘With Women’ opens with a heavy heart-beat-like bass drum and a continuous droning chord before Modern Sonder’s powerful, echoed vocal fronts the mix. The track is extremely minimalist which works perfectly in fully focusing the listeners attention on the graceful lyrics that follow a conversation with a mother in labour and the midwives guiding her.

The production on the mix feels very spacious which cleverly creates an effect of the mother’s voice being vulnerable and uncertain before the chorus/hook kicks in and the harmonised lyrics of the midwives reassure her through the challenges she is facing. Even to the listener, the soft and beautiful harmony of voice feels comforting and reassuring! Much later in the song, acoustic guitar joins the mix and we even hear a fully a cappella verse which takes Jazz’s incredible voice and vivid lyrics up to another level entirely before the instruments join back in. The song comes-full-circle, ultimately concluding with the same bass drum from the beginning. This gives us the feeling that the amazing work that midwives do will not stop and the stories that are told will continue on again and again, past the song’s ending.

Dey’s lyrics are exceptional as always and the use of her native doric dialect of Scots really brings in a personal touch which enhances the track even further. Moreover, the sailor-sea-shanty imagery ties in incredibly well with the imagery of childbirth with lyrics such as “When the water breaks and falls aroon’ my aching feet” and “push and pull…set sail for journeys new”. Finally, Modern Sonder truly highlights in the last verse the importance of midwives in our society and the incredible role they have in our lives:

“I’ll ne’er forget yer kindness,

Or your patience or yer smile,

For in my deepest seas of darkness,

You were with me a’ the while.”

‘With Women’ has the strongest sentiment possible and encapsulates it entirely within the brilliant lyrics of Modern Sonder. Powerful vocals coupled with a memorable, harmonious hook makes for a beautiful and emotional track that fully meets the mark in showing appreciation for midwives.

Amanda Thomson, best-friend of Modern Sonder, an amazing NHS Midwife from the North-East of Scotland (and also my sister) with a baby she delivered (used with permission)

‘With Women’ by Modern Sonder and the UWS Midwives is out now on Bandcamp! Please support this amazing cause and listen to some quality music while you’re at it.

Happy International Day of the Midwife to midwives all over the world!

Follow the account dedicated to this project:

Find Modern Sonder on Social Media:

Published by Daniel Thomson

I am a 19 year old undergraduate student at the University of Glasgow currently studying English Literature. Alongside this, I front a Glasgow-based indie rock band called The Zebecks.

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