The Ironing Maidens are an experimental electronic duo.
The fusion of electronic instruments they adapt from real irons and ironing boards, The Ironing Maidens create a soundtrack of wrinkle-free, house-inspired music.
The duo of Patty Preece and Melania Jack were inspired to create this experimental, electronic arts project seven years ago when they discovered many electronic music pioneers, who happen to be women, were absent from their electronic music education.
"Looking into the themes prominent during the 1950s when women like Daphne Oram [the godmother of electronic music] were developing their highly influential work, we noticed parallels between the dismissal of women's work in the home and the lack of recognition for women in music technology development," Patty says.
"So we developed a new show exploring ways of creating sound with the irons (an iconic 'housework' symbol) and discussing these themes of recognition."
Their newest single 'Breathe Out' is a continuation of exploring those particular themes.
Dark electronic overtones wash over the synth-pop bones of 'Breathe Out', the moody and swirling melody wrapping itself around you snugly as Melania's vocals soar with an intensity that draws your complete attention.
Think Portishead productions mashed together with an amalgamation of Kate Bush-Bjork styled vocals.
'Breathe Out' also features samples of Daphne discussing her interactions trying to establish the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (created in the late '50s to produce sound effects for radio and TV programmes including 'Dr Who') and her sense of being undervalued.
This feeling of worthlessness also relates to domestic housework and the overwhelming burden placed upon women to be domestic goddesses while also trying to retain their paid jobs during massive changes to employment, as well as educating children at home.
Women's work needs to be valued – at home and in the workplace – and that's the underlying message of 'Breathe Out', which scenestr is stoked to premiere the music video for today. Enjoy.
"This song was originally written as part of a larger narrative within our gig theatre show – 'A Soap Opera' – and it is a poignant part of the show where the main character Katie has a meltdown, overloaded with the housework, meets Daphne Oram on the other side and has an epiphany about her life," Melania says.
"However, more recently the song seems to have taken on a new meaning and is significant now in a different way.
"Filming the music film clip and performing it recently at the Tanks Arts Centre really made me aware of a more personal connection. I realised that like the lyrics, I am so tired of talking about the unfair burden that women carry with domestic labour.
"I'm so overwhelmed by the massive injustice of this unpaid and unacknowledged workload that some days I can't see a time where we will truly achieve gender equality.
"Within our live show we try to put an optimistic spin (and some really uplifting house beats) on the topics, but underneath, it is a truly worrying issue.
"We have spoken to many women at our shows and heard so many stories about the way this unfair workload affects their health and well-being.
"Some women have disclosed harrowing stories about feeling trapped, missing career opportunities, feeling their self-worth slip away, and some have spoken of suicidal feelings.
"When women are expected to do the majority of this unpaid domestic labour it leaves them less time to pursue their own careers and dreams, and this affects their ability to be financially sustainable.
"We are seeing the long-term effects of this in the rise of homelessness among older women. This is a cycle of sexism that starts at home and extends out into the world and is so ingrained in our lives that we don't even realise some of it."