MUSIC

THE NATIVE CATS

(I'll write here soon. For now: our fourth album, and best by a wide margin, John Sharp Toro, is finished and will be out in early 2017. In the meantime you can hear and buy everything else we've done at our Bandcamp.)

————— ESCOTT

(Look: I don't have a fatal allergic reaction to every instance of getting deadnamed or anything? But I like to make a point of obscuring it when I can, just to get the message across in a general way that I don't like it, and a lot of other trans people like theirs much less, and if you're talking to or about us, it's worth avoiding even if at first it seems unavoidable. I've had well-meaning people tell me they loved "the ————— Escott album", as if it was just a recording alias I haven't used in a while, and then when I remind them that I changed my name, they say "yeah I just mean, you were ————— Escott then", and they don't seem to pick up on my discomfort at all. So I'd like this to happen less often!

Okay, and: I also just love those long dashes that you get in place of names sometimes in old novels. Just call me Mme. E—————.)

I've been playing the piano my whole life. Classical lessons as a kid, the Whatever and Ever Amen sheet music book in my early teens, then songs, with words, from 20 onwards. Pacific Novelty was a CD-R compilation of my best work from the year and a half I lived in Edinburgh, the best I ever got at writing dark, complex instrumentals, as well as my first attempts at putting my singing voice to WAVs.

I met my partner halfway through writing the songs for Slowcoach and it doesn't completely show but it kinda shows. I wrote a few cockeyed sweetheart songs before she and I got together but I sure didn't write any of that everything-I-know-about-women-I-learned-from-Let-Love-In shit after. I was yet to feel embarrassed by it, though, so even though I was happily in love and busy unlearning a bunch of respectable misogyny songwriting tropes I thankfully never really believed in, I still put "The same, again", "Morning in the Meadows" and "Red brick eyes" on the album, because at the time they were among my best songs. Fake venom.

But that still leaves eight lyrical songs and one instrumental that I fully stand behind. "It's all in the program" was the first song I wrote for my partner, about a month into our relationship, though admittedly it was less about her and more about me somehow not fucking it up even though I very easily could. "Submarine" was an old breakup song but the feelings were honest and level-headed and I expressed them well. "Clear the room" was the song I decided I still wanted to be playing when touring the world in my 70s (after seeing John Cale play "(I Keep A) Close Watch" when he came to Hobart) but now I feel like if it's anything on Slowcoach it might be the title track, which formed in a flash on the evening between the album's two final recording sessions and which holds a power I still don't fully understand.

 

The Long O
Lucky Timelock