Trans artist Alice Low – self-styled “ladydaddy building an empire” – unveils an outrageously funky new single that continues her quest to challenge prejudice through her music.
Sodomizer is a reaction – a strong reaction – to the media’s frequent portrayal of trans women as sexual predators (or potential predators) – and throws it back in their face. “I open the news and see my entire identity reduced to sex, violence,” she says. “Going to get milk, bread, have a little piss. A girl gotta empty her bladder, she ain’t in there to fuck you. It isn’t aggressive.”
Based in Cardiff, Low first made a splash a year ago with her extraordinary debut single Ladydaddy. An audacious 14-minute epic, as genre-bending as it was gender-bending, its exuberant sense of liberation stems from the fact she wrote it less than a month after coming out.
It was followed by the ballad Cry Baby, showcasing a baritone croon in a song that could have come from Bowie’s Young Americans era. Then came Rim Job, a song that introduced a falsetto range, evolving from lush synth ballad to funky hi-NRG anthem – while memorably likening a lost relationship to “a loveless rim job.”
She explained at the time: “I wanted to frame my heartbreak, and pain through the hyper-sexualised and alienated lens that all transgender stories are framed.”
Now comes Sodomizer, another defiant statement of identity.
“It’s possible to fight when you’re strong, and there’s people in your life that you love, and bring colour, and light, but when all that is gone, and you’re alone, suddenly the weight of the world’s prejudice hits right where your power comes from,” says Low.
“I felt moved to talk about it. It was the most present feeling in my mind at the time. At the end of last year, when the days were short and it was cold and it was dark, I would open the BBC and be labelled a rapist. I wanted to defend myself. I couldn’t do it in total earnest.”
Low, who won the Triskel Prize at last year’s Welsh Music Awards, says her transition gave her the space to hone her talents as both musician and producer, and enabled her to find her true musical identity: “My work took on a new singularity, something more dynamic, more engaging, and totally mine.”
She recently toured with Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, making waves with her incendiary avant-garde performance, and will be back on the road with Cate Le Bon in August.
All words by Tim Cooper. You can find more of Tim’s writing at his Louder Than War author’s archive and at Muck Rack. He is also Twitter as @TimCooperES and posts daily at EatsDrinksAndLeaves.
More about Alice Low on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
4th June – Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 16th August – Newcastle University (with Cate Le Bon) 17th August – Summerhall, Edinburgh Fringe (with Cate Le Bon) 18th August – Albert Hall, Manchester (with Cate Le Bon) 19th – 21st August – Green Man Festival 8th – 10th September – Waves Festival, Austria
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