Cycle 6

New year, new cycle. Let all the children boogie.

The rise and fall, and rise again, of David Bowie's queerness

This episode, we explore Bowie's succinctly titled The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. We journey on through Bowie's legacy to queer audiences, his vast array of bangers, and how we turned death into an art form. Facts are facts – David Bowie made life more bearable for othered people around the world. From the Seventies onwards, queer people could see parts of themselves in an unconventional patron saint – sexually ambiguous, highly successful, and full of joy.

Crashing the cis-tem with Antony and the Johnsons

Antony and the Johnsons' I Am a Bird Now is a story told from within a chrysalis. Featuring the unmistakably haunting vocals of lead singer ANOHNI, the album speaks of a yearning to be grown, the confronting nature of evolution and the delicious freedom of eventual self-actualisation. Join Drew and Andy as they tackle their first ever Mercury Prize winner and struggle – desperately – to find a connection between Antony and the Johnsons and Madonna Louise Ciccone.

Are our Expectations of Hayley Kiyoko too great?

Lesbian Jesus has been done arisen, and sign us up for her flock – this fortnight’s episode of Aural Fixation explores the 2018 debut album Expectations, by Hayley Kiyoko. Nickelodeon child star to empowered music video director, Hayley knows who is she and serves as a beacon for queer, but especially, female young fans. Does the material live up to our Expectations, and is Hayley more kd or Katy?

Beyoncé is a dykon and 4 is her best album, fight us

It's taken six cycles to summon the energy required to tackle the most prolific female solo artist of our generation. We've enlisted a card-carrying, honey-making member of the Beyhive to join the conversation, Shana Sumers – former Head of Community at HER, a dating app for lesbian, bisexual and queer womxn, and co-host of Bad Queers, a podcast for anyone who feels like they came out of the closet and immediately got placed in a box. Shana stood for 12 hours with no food or bathroom breaks to secure her place at the front of Beyoncé's 2019 Coachella set so you know she's legit.

Clear the area for Imogen Heap's Speak for Yourself

Techno-instrument inventor, West End composer and globally-renowned baby soother Imogen Heap has come a long way since her groundbreaking 2005 release Speak for Yourself, but we reckon it remains her queerest piece of work and we're about to tell you why. Tales of Ariana Grande's latent veganism, keeping TERFs out of Hogwarts and the most airtime Jason Derulo will ever get on Aural Fixation are just some of the delights that await you in this queersploration. Where are we, and what the hell is going on?

The agony and the ecstasy of Perfume Genius' SMHOFI

Perfume Genius has long been synonymous with gay angst but in his fifth and most recent album 'Set My Heart On Fire IMMEDIATELY', he takes steps towards acceptance. Recorded and released just before the onslaught of the pandemic, PG followed up 'SMHOFI' with companion album 'IMMEDIATELY Remixes' in March 2021 – arguably one of the more satisfying outcomes of lockdown. Join Andy and Drew as they discuss both the original and remix offerings, wax queer-ical on a post-Covid Mardi Gras and take a deep dive into relationships past.

Never kissed a Tori (Amos): Boys for Pele

There's a lot to cover off when it comes to Tori Amos when it's just Tori Amos – but when your guest star is a former TV producer, current radio DJ and the singular driving force behind the bid to save Sydney's nightlife scene, we somehow filled 90 minutes of your precious time! Fear not, we've made it worth your while. Tyson Koh joins the Aural Fixation-ers to discuss the myriad of mysteries and treats on Tori's 1996 critical masterpiece Boys for Pele, including Courtney Love, Janice Dickinson and of course, a bit o' (Kate) Bush.

Taking apart Take Me Apart by Kelela

We often cover artists who elude to their queerness without acknowledging it, or generate a queer fanbase without being queer themselves. But sometimes there are artists that we revere who just happen to be out, which means we can fast track them straight to the front of the queue. Enter stage left, Kelela whose album Take Me Apart is a delicious blend of R&B, electronic and garage music. Scroll down to the Personal Life section on her Wikipedia and... BINGO! "Kelela openly identifies as queer." You're in, toots!

Howard Ashman's queer Disney legacy

Icons are a dime a dozen here at Aural Fixation (it’s what we do... it's what we live for) but heroes are a different kettle of sea-witch – and they don't get more queer-oic than Howard Ashman. Through a kaleidoscope of Broadway magic and animation mastery, Howard's indelible fingerprints on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin now reveal, in adulthood, tropes of the queer experience we can all understand. The ostracisation of the 'other'... turning that otherness into a superpower... and wanting to be part of that world.