Force the issue until it’s right
If you take it as it’s meant
This ugliness can’t escape the light
Pascal Stevenson, a familiar figure on the LA circuit with Moaning, Girlpool, and Cherry Glazerr, announces a new offering: Fashion Club’s brooding, emotional “Feign For Love” off the upcoming album Scrutiny. This is the first single from Stevenson since publicly coming out as transgender; reflecting upon the disguising of her feelings “behind figurative language, despite desperately wanting to be seen.” It is a universal message of finding authenticity, despite outward challenges and obstacles in the road.
In “Feign For Love”, Stevenson dissects the concept of social media’s artificiality: image-making over constructive change and genuine connection. “In arts communities, and in culture more broadly, you’re confronted with a lot of people who are performing morality surrounding social issues instead of actually caring,” she says. “To be somebody that’s Black in a predominantly white industry like indie rock, you realize how what people project about who they are and how they treat other people is so at odds with how they actually feel.”
The cinematic, simple video, directed by Max Flick, depicts Stevenson at the vanity, peeling off layers. Cleverly mangling the subtitles, Stevenson’s emotional lyrics became a jumble of confusion; sorting out every flavour of prejudice; throat chakra blockages, and communication breakdown as the visage of the body also evolves. It’s a clever metaphor for body dysmorphia, feeling unheard, and the need to be real.
Watch the video for ‘Feign For Love” below:
Stevenson drew inspiration from Kate Bush, Brian Eno, and Wire’s Colin Newman, all musicians who push the edges of pop through experimentation.
Fashion Club’s Scrutiny is Stevenson’s debut as a solo artist, built upon her experience as a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. “I’ve been making music since I was 14, and I’ve never been the front person in a band until this one,” she says. “Trying to take myself out of that behind-the-scenes role was uncomfortable at first. You have to imagine yourself completely differently. To make that shift in your mind is hard. Especially if you have built something up in your mind about how the person that fronts a band has to be perceived. It felt really good and freeing to be in control, because I trusted myself. When you get to a certain level of confidence, you can be more free.”
Fashion Club’s Scrutiny is out June 17, 2022.
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