Woven In - Profess (Popnihill)

Woven In – Profess (Popnihill)

There must be something in Orlando’s water at the moment. There has to be. Everything I hear coming out of that city has been incredible recently. Mariah Fortune-Johnson’s, aka Woven In, latest album is no different. Profess might only be 26 minutes of lo-fi indie disco pop but it sure as hell packs a punch. But this is what we’ve come to expect from Fortune-Johnson. Profess is her 9th album in seven years.

The album opens with ‘Sad for the Season’. The line “Ordered me a new shoe, stepping out of the blue” is crooned over stuttering synths, static drums, and deep bass. “Pick apart from feelings and on to the next thing” shows a person either in pain or getting over something painful. The rest of the song is vague, but it’s very clear this isn’t going to be a light-hearted romp through coming to the end of your 20s. ‘Til This Day Innocent’ has a more of a techno vibe to it, but isn’t for the big room to play. Instead of vocals Fortune-Johnson uses samples to get her point across. “I’m an innocent bystander” “I only know my side of the story; I can’t tell no another story” is brutally honest and tells the tale of ‘justice’ in America in PoC neighbourhoods.

Interlude Sienna’ is a dank instrumental. As with the album, anger simmers throughout. The lack of vocals, or samples, weirdly enhances the music making it one of the standout tracks on the album. ‘Complex Body’ closes the album how it started. Massive 808 sounding drums, gossamer synths, and an overriding feeling of regret. “I used to share my body with you all the time. Couldn’t let me touch yours, but you could touch mine” and “Complex body you don’t understand” paint a picture of another bleak relationship. The interesting thing about ‘Complex Body’ is we can’t tell if Fortune-Johnson is regretting the relationship ended or ever started.

Profess is the kind of album that hides its themes in plain sight. Track titles like ‘Sad for the Season’, ‘Upsetting’, ‘I Don’t Love You’, ‘Body’ and ‘Complex Body’ say it all. At its heart, Profess is about what it’s like to be a PoC in America in 2020. At times, despite it’s poppy gloss, it is a hard listen. However, it is an incredibly engaging listen. Fortune-Johnson is a real talent and needs to be on everyone’s radar. With each release we learn a little more about her. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long to learn some more.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.