Cycle 5

Reunited post-lockdown and it feels so good. Andy and Drew are back to their old tricks in person and spilling boucoup tea with such guests as Drag Race alum Rícardo Garcia and Sydney DJ royalty Matt Vaughn and Belinda O'Brien.

Kate Bush – Hounds of Love

A child prodigy with a penchant for dancing, karate and pianos, Bush released her first album The Kick Inside aged 19 (with some songs written when she was just a young teenager). From there, Bush parlayed her subsequent albums to firmly establish herself as British pop music’s sacred moonchild, before releasing her fifth studio album Hounds of Love in 1985. Split into two sections; the first five tracks of Hounds of Love act as standalone tracks, with the remainder subtitled “The Ninth Wave” telling the story of… well, you’ll just have to wait and hear.

Hole – Celebrity Skin

Firmly planted in the mystique and fallacy of Hollywood and California, Celebrity Skin serves as a worthy counterpart to the mystique and fallacy of Courtney Love. A hotbed of raw talent, yes… a problematic fave, no doubt, but more than anything else, Love’s defining attribute surelly remains being persistently and deeply misunderstood. We look at Courtney before, during and after the album, while exploring other queer aspects of Celebrity Skin and Hole.

Selena – Dreaming of You

In early 1995, with four Spanish albums and a Grammy under her belt, Selena began to record Dreaming of You. The album was slated to be a career-defining moment for Selena, introducing her to new audiences and solidifying her as a global star. However on March 31, less than a month before her 24th birthday, Selena was shot dead by Yolanda Saldívar, an employee of Selena’s and the head of her fan club. In this episode, Andy and Drew are joined by Selena stan and deep trans-Pacific friend of the pod Rícardo Garcia to discuss the life and legacy of the Madonna of Tejano music.

Prince – Dirty Mind

In 2009, multi-talented queer power duo Wendy & Lisa confirmed that their former bandleader, brother-in-arms and boss, Prince, was definitely not gay, but rather a… fancy lesbian. Not that we’re scrambling for excuses to explore the Purple One for Aural Fixation – purveyor of assless chaps, a deft hand with eyeliner and a spiritual connection with the fight to be one’s authentic self are just the tip of Prince’s queer iceberg. We secured the wisdom of DJ Matt Vaughan, the father of Sydney’s own iconic queer club movement Loose Ends and Professor of Princeology, who selected the bussy-shattering Dirty Mind for us to explore. We selected the rosé.

Honey Dijon – The Best of Both Worlds

In 2017, Honey Dijon produced her debut album with an array of guests lending their vocals. Aptly named The Best of Both Worlds, the album takes its cues from a plethora of musical references and evades genre. Pretty on-brand for Honey, who renounces gender binaries, lives in two cities (New York and Berlin) and moves in food and fashion circles alongside her musical endeavours. Drew and Andy welcome Sydney creative director and DJ Belinda O’Brien to take a brief look at the history of house and discuss how Honey Dijon has influenced a generation of DJs, including Belinda herself.

ABBA – Voulez Vous

If you've been to a wedding, experienced a road trip or watched a film starring Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski, you've probably heard an ABBA song. If you've enjoyed a £2.50 triple gin and tonic at Thompson's on Canal Street in Manchester, you definitely have. You'll know it's fabulous, you'll know it's joy, but have you acknowledged the slightly unsettling melancholy you feel behind the camp ecstasy? Sitting in the Venn diagram centre betwixt the Beatles, Robyn and Steps, ABBA practically invented the concept of a sad banger, and Voulez-Vous catches them at the tail end of their imperial phase.

Melanie C – Northern Star

As one fifth of the most successful girl group of all time, Mel C spent her early twenties inseparably tied to her athletic alter ego. Her status as Sporty Spice was so entrenched in her public persona that when the Spice Girls took a hiatus in 1999, Mel C did what any trapped queer person would do; she cut her hair, dyed it blonde, changed her name and reached out to Madonna. Northern Star by Melanie C was the outcome. The debut tells tales of aggrieved emancipation, potential secret sapphism and the ongoing plight of the homeless through the combined sonic mediums of grunge, R&B, musical theatre, dance music and more.

Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia

In March 2020, it's safe to say that the world was in search of a spark to pierce the dark. One such spark came in the form of Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia – a bombastic retro-journey that took pop and dance music cues from the past and thrust us towards a (hopefully) brighter tomorrow. A few short months later came the lockdown project to end all lockdown projects – Club Future Nostalgia. The companion remix album was created in collaboration with noted DJ The Blessed Madonna and featured guests such as Missy Elliot, Mark Ronson, Gwen Stefani and The Actual Madonna. But has sweet Dula Peep has done enough to earn her seat at the Aural Fixation table?

Q&A#5 – The Final Q&A?

Over the past eight eps, we've beaten around the Kate Bush, dreamt of Tejano superstar Selena, salivated over Honey Dijon and gotten physical with Dua (to name a few!) We've welcomed incredible guests, gone profesh and moved in-studio (again, a huge shout out to the incredible guys at Forbes Street Studios) and in December we celebrated our most-listened month EVER! And so, in the great tradition of ourselves, we're wrapping up the tour du fierce that was cycle five with another stonking Q&A episode. Tune in for a rundown of our lockdown anthems, a Madonna tête-à-tête that has the boys at loggerheads, and the full tea on why the hell we haven't covered Beyoncé yet.