Confident. Outspoken. Fearless. These are just three words to sum up Delilah Bon’s eclectic and self-proclaimed “random” self-titled debut. The alter ego of Hands Off Gretel frontwoman Lauren Tate, her own branded “Brat Punk” sound is nothing like any fans of the grunge outfit would expect.
Inspired by 00s pop artists with punk attitudes like P!nk and Gwen Stefani, Delilah Bon combines hip hop and nu metal in a way that’s so nostalgic but so fresh. The full record was also completely self-produced, which one would never suspect. Each beat and riff are masterfully layered on every track and there is never a hint of overwhelming or conflicting rhythms. From the multi-tonal hip hop sound of ‘Soul Sisters’ to the more mellow RnB vibe of ‘Chop Dicks’, the record shows a lot of versatility rather than just one niche sound she’s perfected.
Almost all of the 12 songs sound as though they could be plucked straight from 2001 but the lyrical content is straight from 2021. Feminism, inclusion and self-belief feature throughout, with Bon lashing out at everything from “pick me girls” and rape culture to homophobia, racism and bullying. Despite having touched upon some of these in her previous solo work released under her real name, she’s never done so with suck aggression and conviction.
Confidence is what drives this record. Every line spoken in her newly developed rap range hits with full force. Bon doesn’t tiptoe around lyrics such as “I'm too much of one thing and not enough of what people are wanting” (‘I Got The Feelin’), “you would rather no one knew about your problems cause your reputation matters more than your daughter does” (‘War On Women’) or “shaking my fanny in the face of the Lord” (‘Devil’), proving that she’s certainly found her feet as this character. No matter how honest, painful or crude, she will speak openly about it.
‘War On Women’ is of course the most painful to listen to, discussing loneliness as an alternative woman and witnessing the tribulations LGBT+ and BIPOC also face every day. Still upbeat with catchy rapped verses, the gentle piano along with soulful underlying notes Christina Aguilera would be proud of cause hairs to stand up. While every other song belongs in a club, ‘War On Women’ deserves to be understood and learnt from.
Delilah Bon has shown us all a new side of Lauren Tate; her rapping flair, her production talent and, most importantly, her message. There’s not been a release like this from either the nu metal or hip hop world in quite a long time, and Delilah Bon serves as a reminder of how prolific music of the 00s was, and also how great it could have been.
Delilah Bon is out now. You can pick up a copy here