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Track of the Week: ‘Make Manager’ by Broken Baby

Hot on the heels of their second LP, Late Stage Optimism, Broken Baby is back with a new single!

Broken Baby is the musical brainchild of veteran indie rocker/producer Alex Dezen (main songwriter and front man for the now defunct Brooklyn band The Damnwells) and Bollinger, a former college athlete and trained actor. As a working actor in Hollywood for years, Bollinger experienced seemingly unending sexual harassment and misogyny. If you follow the four-year-old band’s history, it’s clear that it was formed as a vehicle for Bollinger, both as a writer and performer, to channel her rage.

“‘Make Manager’ is a cheeky song about abuse of power. The idea that if you start at the bottom and take advantage of everyone along the way, you’ll get somewhere. Isn’t that miserable,” says singer Amber Bollinger, “But really, we just wanted to write a song that got under your skin in a good way and gave you permission to just scream and move and let it all out.’”

“Sexual harassment was totally normalized,” she continues. But when #metoo hit, Bollinger was ready to channel her frustration into music. “I was in another band,” she says, “and I just sort of showed up and sang, and I wasn’t proud of it. The lyrics didn’t reflect my beliefs. I filled a role which I was used to doing as an actor. It was unfulfilling.” The reckoning Bollinger was experiencing was being writ large in the world. The music, and the band’s performances reflected that. Broken Baby quickly started packing venues. Before the pandemic shut down live shows, Bollinger was crowd surfing and leaping over cocktail tables (she earned a scholarship in track and field). She gets in audiences faces, and not everyone loves it.

As a former actor, Bollinger is acutely aware of the way she internalized the shame of being commodified, as many women do. Broken Baby has become a kind of antidote to that shame. “Ultimately, I just want you to see that I’m in front of you. If you like it that’s great, if you hate it, that’s also great. I want to be seen.”

Photo credit: James Duran


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