Soft Chambers

by The Native Cats

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One important thing I want people to know right now, in particular Australians who might have be insulated by several degrees from what is happening and will happen in the United States, is that yeah we're scared for an uncertain future and new laws and policies and restrictions and removals, but a lot of people are suddenly in increased danger RIGHT NOW. Hate crimes have been on the rise in the US all year as their perpetrators feel more emboldened and justified (the same happened in the UK after Brexit). Between immediate physical threats and online hate and very real fears over the many ways life could become a lot less manageable in the next few years, there are countless people right now, queer people and Muslims and people of colour and everyone else who's been targeted in one way or another by the president-elect and his crew, who are trying to stay safe or find reasons to keep living or not relapse into addiction or --

In short: shit's gonna happen but shit's already happening, and it was happening before but it just got a lot worse.

The Native Cats have an album finished and set for release by RIP Society in early-as-we-can 2017. You can download a song from it on our Bandcamp. Pay as much as you like, we're donating 100% of the money to Trans Lifeline, a not-for-profit US-based hotline staffed by transgender volunteers and covering everything from trans-related health care and support group information to suicide and self-harm prevention. They've taken a record number of calls since the election results started coming in and they need funds to train new volunteers, advertise to at-risk communities, and cover travel expenses and other day-to-day costs.

The song is called Soft Chambers and it's the most complex thing we've ever recorded. We wrote the bare bones of it (Julian's bass, my lyrics) in early 2015, in my last months of denial before I came out and started transitioning. This year I came back to it with my new lease on life and made it what it is now. Appropriately it's a song about healing from trauma and physically revisiting moments from your past. The voice you hear at the start is merritt k ("poet and podcaster, as well as a lapsed game designer and sociologist"), used with permission. I don't know her personally but back in 2013 when I didn't know jack shit about trans people I started following her work and learned a VERY important fact of which I was NOT previously aware, which is that you can be trans and also a hilarious punk if you want to, AND I DID WANT TO. (And now you know too!) Lisa Rime, from Julian's old band the Bad Luck Charms, sings some of merritt's words about Super Metroid later in the song too, Laetitia Sadier-style. Sarah Hennies lives in Ithaca, New York, and she's a brilliant composer and percussionist and she plays drums on this song and also almost the whole album, and she was my first new friend after I came out and I'm so lucky to know her.

I'm no great revolutionary orator and I don't know how to get you fired up but I'm fired up and I'm doing this small act for this particular cause for now and I'm ready to do more.

- Chloe Alison Escott


released November 10, 2016



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