I met The Zoo Girls through Twitter. After finding the song “Black Lodge” I contacted them and had a cool conversation about their home, Memphis, and music. Click the live video for “Black Lodge” below and you’ll get a taste of their awesome sound. Try to guess some of their influences from their music and read about the song and their bio to see if you’re right.
The Story Behind “Black Lodge”
While working on the song “Millerwood,” a melancholy ballad about the untimely deaths of two friends, a line popped into Molly’s head: “You love yourself so much/How could I love you more?” Molly jotted it down quickly, and we continued on with the song at hand. Later, Molly brought it to the attention of then-bandmate Lauren, and Lauren started to play a bluesy tune on her guitar to accompany it. Molly encouraged Lauren to continue playing while the remainder of the lyrics flowed out quickly. Lauren & Molly played the new tune for Beth, who worked her magic on it, tightening up the lyrics and making it flow more easily. It’s a song about a former lover of Molly’s, a narcissist who thought highly of himself despite a lack of evidence that he should.
We utilized Lauren’s (and now current band member Katie’s) deep, throaty vocals on the verses while Molly wails Robert Plant-style on the chorus, and Beth keeps the rhythm with a striking, lively, blues-oriented piano melody. Because it starts out softly, the song tends to quiet an audience, who quickly pick up on and sing along with the original, catchy lyric that inspired the song, “You love yourself so much/How could I love you more?” along with the de-masculating line that follows: “You’re so damn amazing, mama/It’s you you’re living for.”
The Zoo Girls Bio
The Zoo Girls are comprised of local musicians Molly Okeon, Beth Okeon, Katie Clark and, previously, Lauren Taylor. The group performs regularly at area venues including Imagine Vegan Cafe, the Memphis Farmers Market, the High Point Pub and Otherlands Coffee Bar. Friends for years, the girls enjoy writing music and lyrics that are relatable, honest and resonate with situations every human encounters from love to heartbreak and everything in between. Musical influences that have shaped their writing include Counting Crows, R.E.M. and Lucinda Williams, to name a few. In 2014, the Zoo Girls were awarded the Peer Award from the Memphis Songwriters Showcase.