Joining the boys to traverse (not just remote recording during lockdown but) their most diverse array of subjects yet are Melbourne's Cher-xpert, Matthew Harden, and ARIA-winning country artist Fanny Lumsden.
Robyn – Body Talk
We're kicking off Cycle 4 with an artist who, quite frankly we cannot believe we haven't tackled sooner! Hang on – have we done Robyn before...? As you can imagine with three EPs and a lot of heartbreak to get through, it's a bumper episode indeed, which we hope provides a glimpse of escapism (if that be what you're seeking). Andy gets emotional about Candi Staton's life of regrets, Drew muses on a past life when he could actually walk around London listening to Robyn, and we both make a couple of jokes which haven't really aged well in the last three weeks – you just gotta laugh!
Pet Shop Boys – Behaviour
For a supposed queer music podcast we took our sweet time getting to this iconic duo. Nevertheless, here we are with the PSBs, an act who have shaped many of the artists we know and love, queer or not, and continue to pump out their own unique brand of pop to this today. This episode, we catch them still cruising through their ‘Imperial Phase’ with their 1990 masterpiece, Behaviour. Released after three consecutive commercial successes, Behaviour was their first chart blip but has stood the test of time as Pet Shop Boy excellence – glorious pop medleys paired alongside vivid storytelling, laced with biting wit.
Beverly Glenn-Copeland – Keyboard Fantasies
Over 30 years ago, Beverly Glenn-Copeland released Keyboard Fantasies, a six track album that sold very few copies. It wasn’t until a Japanese music stan discovered the album in 2015 and shared it amongst his fellow audiophiles that it was lauded as a new-age, synthesised masterpiece. The fascinating details of Glenn’s life then began to surface – such as his life living in relative solitude with his wife in the wilderness, or the fact that he happens to be transgender. Keyboard Fantasies is unlike any album we’ve discussed on Aural Fixation before.
Cher – Believe
Mom, she is a rich man – and one of the fiercest icons in the queer canon at that. Cherilyn Sarkisian's inimitable force has carried her from 1965 to the present day. There really is no one like Cher. A towering goddess of this stature couldn't be tackled by Drew and Andy alone, so we roped in long-time listener and huge friend of the pod, Matthew Harden – aka @slaydydiana. Slaydy dialled in from Melbourne to offer up a deeper understanding of Cher's place in the pop pantheon through the lens of her Believe album, possibly the most commercially successful comeback in music herstory.
Years and Years – Communion
Years & Years bound to the top of the UK charts in 2015 with their fourth single "King", the band's unapologetically queer frontman Olly Alexander sitting proudly at the helm. Their debut album Communion shortly followed, an 18-strong cavalcade that spawned a total of seven singles and global recognition among straight and gay fans alike. This episode, Andy and Drew use Communion to frame a discussion on the band's trajectory and the importance of contemporary queer role models.
Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
At the intersections of Black, female and queer excellence in 2020 sits a Baptist-raised sci-fi nerd who can act, dance, rap, write, and of course, sing. Not remotely intimidating to tackle in fifty-seven minutes at all, but Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer is worth it. Features from Brian Wilson, Zoë Kravitz and Grimes litter an equally eclectic tapestry of genres on Dirty Computer filtered through Monäe’s own perception of what America is today, and what it has the potential to be.
Dolly Parton – The Very Best of
ARIA and Golden Guitar-winning, chart-topping country singer Fanny Lumsden invites the boys to her Snowy Mountains home, and then hitch a ride to Dollywood. No other artist manages to unite the United States (and beyond) quite like Dolly Parton, a fact made all the more remarkable as her flame burns brighter in a time when we've never been more divided. We dissect what Dolly means to us as queer listeners.
Queen – A Night at the Opera
If you’re a human being with ears under the age of 40, Queen have never not existed. For decades the iconic four-piece – fronted by the frontman to end all frontmen – pumped out hit after hit after hit. So much so that when Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991 from AIDS-related bronchopneumonia, he had left us with ten careers-worth of music despite only being 45. Our gateway drug into the land of rock royalty is 1975’s A Night at the Opera.
Q&A #4: Q&A IV feat. @MNINSA
There’s no one we would rather share our traditional Q&A episode with than @mynameisnotsusanthony aka Anthony from Brisbane aka deep friend and stan of the podtina. Anthony helps us answer questions from other listeners, as we tumble down a rabbit hole populated with Celine Dion’s back, non-binary disco diva Sylvester and Dannii Minogue’s, well, stanniis. Oh, and stick around for the bonus segment at the end – something about having brunch with RuPaul?