“Emotional.” That’s a word with a lot of power. On its best way, it expresses to us that something or someone is in tune with the feelings they embody and display. An emotional performance is one that we’re sure to remember fondly. An emotional plea can move us to back a cause. But all too often, “emotional” is wielded as a derisive cudgel. This meaning of the word is almost exclusively used by men against women. Instead of engaging with a woman as a human being, these men would rather dismiss their experiences and views as being “emotional” and move on. I don’t have to tell you this is incredibly rude, shortsighted, and doesn’t help a single person. Nashville duo Sawyer (Kel Taylor and Emma Harvey) are done with this label, and have taken to song to express their thoughts on it. The result is “Emotional Girls,” which Substream is proud to premiere this morning.

Listening to someone try to explain what makes a particular woman “emotional” is often ridiculous, and Sawyer rely upon that to make their point on “Emotional Girls.” Both the verses and the chorus illustrate how mundane many of these so called “emotional” requests and experiences are, which drives home how dismissive the label is. “Emotional girls keep asking me to listen. Emotional girls trying to talk before I kiss them” goes the chorus in a pretty accurate representation of the thought process behind the label. Musically, Sawyer are pop masters. While the subject matter is obviously important, the duo don’t let that stop them from having fun with the instrumental, which zooms and soars with synths and infectious energy.

Both members of Sawyer chimed in to explain the origin of the track. Taylor says: “The song was written about a true story of our friend’s experience. Any time there was a problem in her relationship that needed to be talked through, her boyfriend would refuse to engage and dismiss her as an ’emotional girl.’ It’s a hilarious accusation that a lot of women are confronted with in relationships. A favorite writer, David Dark, says ‘When I label someone, I no longer have to deal with them thoughtfully.’ Many women are written off as ‘crazy’ so that they don’t have to be listened to. The lyric brings to light the ridiculousness of the phrase ’emotional girls’ by spelling out the specifics of that assumption.”

Harvey continues: “It was hard to walk the line between making a point and being overly aggressive, so we leaned into an ironic/tongue-and-cheek lyric to create a message that isn’t anti-men, but just lightheartedly pro-women. Emotional intelligence and self-awareness is a key ingredient to being a whole and healthy human regardless of gender.”

“So lean in, we say!!” Taylor adds at the end.

You can listen to Sawyer’s new track “Emotional Girls” below. The duo will be on tour with Jon McLaughlin over the next month and a half, with a list of dates available here.