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Gender, Trauma & Friendship

by Slash Fiction

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i don't want to pick my stitches for another headline slot i don’t want the dam to crumble if this is our only shot if thinking about the past causes an earthquake in my chest i won’t watch the tsunami grow waiting on the beach if the only way out is through then i don't want to turn back and get lost again what's the point in that i want to think about the good days the ones where my shoes fit right and i can walk in a straight line the days where your hand fits perfectly in mine and i got out of bed at the right time
wrapped up in our own insecurities but i’ve never felt more secure than when i’m with you i’ve never felt less alone than when you’re with me i’ve always struggled with a higher meaning with a sense of purpose, with what i’m doing but if i’m stuck here, and never moving at least you’re with me and i promise to love you if you can’t love yourself and i know that you love me more than i hate myself i can’t carry it for you, but i can carry you if you promise to carry me too i spent the first five years fucking up all my plans and the next five years trying to be with my friends and i’ll spend my thirties like my twenties, trying to be less depressed safe in the knowledge i look great in a dress and you’ll be with me we spend our days in drag pretending to be who we were meant to be but when we come home, we don’t feel so alone cause i can see the real you and you can see the real me and if that’s all we ever get and somehow we never move as long as you’re here with me then i guess that’ll do
how's this for heartbreak? is this what it's like? when you're standing in the wreckage of five years of your life how's this for heartbreak? is it so bad? it's only feeling like you're losing everything you ever had how's this for heartbreak? how's this for feeling so fucking small boxing up your favourite things pulling pictures from the walls how's this for feeling so fucking scared spending every waking moment so completely unprepared now i'm afraid of my own thoughts when i'm awake at 3am feeling lonely by myself, feeling anxious with my friends and i know i've only got myself to blame and i know that things can never be the same how's this for heartbreak? i'll be okay again and you’ll be okay again we’ll be okay again
i hope to plant something and live to see it bloom i will take your rotted garden what's left is mine to use i hope to plant just one thing and see it live and grow that would be enough for me just take your things and go a sunflower can grow to be ten feet tall and so can i if i try i don't care what you say and as i pulled new skin over your old drawings it felt like spite or hope or both
Footnote 05:30
are you afraid i'll never turn out like you wanted me to are you ashamed i'm not just a tinier version of you isn't that the point am i not supposed to do better than you isn't that the point raising the bar that we hold ourselves to cos i need to sleep at night and look myself in the eye i've got your veins in the back of my hands but my conscience is mine is this really it is this the best you can do with your time is this really it is this the hill where you're going to die does it feel good turning your back on the people you love does it feel good undoing all of the work that you've done cos when you're a memory on the wrong side of history we'll build something stronger than you and i'll wish you were proud of me you gave me the strength of my gut and you gave me a voice to use but blood isn't thicker than love and my friends are the family i choose
i lost part of myself across the sea dashed on the rocks are rotting bits of me sunken ballast, barely floating, weighed me down until i cut them free now i'm stranded on an island and i won't ever feel at peace until you sail across the ocean safely landed and with me again so i'll mould bricks from my bones fashion my teeth into stairs turn my flesh into foundations build a lighthouse to guide you home follow the light and you'll find me (i lost so much of myself) follow the light and you'll find me (but i'm shining for you) i couldn't fight what was inside me just look for the lighthouse when you're ready to stand beside me
let me get a word in edgeways slide between the thin space wedge open the gap and let through something new so turn the lights down low, babe let's pretend that this body (my body) is my body let's pretend just once that these hands could be the hands of the man of your dreams press myself into a better shape like handprints in cement sign my name so i remember who i've left behind so cover your ears, babe let's pretend that this voice (my voice) is my voice let's pretend just once that these sounds could call you by name, back to our home let me slide between the meanings live inside the bridged gaps a foot on both sides of state lines i'm everywhere at once so please remember, babe i am not a blank slate i feel it all, from here to here again and again and again so will you take my hand, babe let's prove to the world (this world) our world let's prove to every body that we are more than our bodies worth more than our bodies
cross my heart and i hope to find a way to tear myself away and let this lie picking through the things you left behind to find some peace of mind and let this lie i wanna let you reach inside my head rearrange the circuitry and help me to forget i wanna let you wash over my skin and carry me to somewhere i can be myself again the pieces of myself i tied to you that i'm still clinging to they weigh me down i need to know if i can be someone if i am anyone without you now i wanna let you tear open my chest drain the bad blood out of me and let me start againi wanna let you punch me in the face pick myself up off the ground and get my head on straight i wanna be myself again
Headaches 03:51
an aneurysm took my friend he fell asleep and he didn’t wake up again he wouldn’t have known a thing about it his wife woke up and he was dead now i focus on every twitch in my head every lightning headache and every rush of blood and each dull pain behind my eyes has me convinced i’m going to wake up dead i spend my life so afraid to die i’m not sure i’m living i waste so much time trying not to waste time i’m not sure i’m living and every time i give in to the voice that says i’ll be nothing another year’s gone by a tumour in the brain took my grandad he fell asleep and he didn’t wake up again well he knew it was coming but he didn’t accept it and i held his hand as he went now i picture his face when i look in a mirror i don’t feel like a man but i can’t hide his brow and each dull pain behind my eyes has me convinced that’s how i’m gonna die
i dipped my feet into the ocean to wash off all the sand the salt-cleansed cracked skin gave way to something new so instead of opening old wounds what if i hand you the needle and thread and we can patch ourselves up together and stand here hand in hand what if old haunts could become new hopes


Slash Fiction’s much-anticipated debut album finds the Sheffield band in full bloom, the sound of three unique songwriting voices emerging and embracing each other. This is an intentional and ambitious collection, ten unabashedly joyous songs captured with the speaker-crackling intensity of a live performance, casting an unflinching eye on transformation, loss and the revelations of queer identity.

Just look to the explosive singalong opener “Pick My Stitches”, or the insistent stomp of “Ten Feet Tall”- odes to the idea of rejecting pain as commodity, to morphing it into something simple and redemptive and beautiful, all delivered with the tightness of classic pop construction on rolling waves of sound that hit square in the gut. In blending this pop-emo mixture with moments of post-rock soundscapes and flashes of come-hither synths, these songs are reminiscent of The Wonder Years at their most expansive. Other tracks in turn call to mind everything from the bounciness and ambition of The Get-Up Kids "Something To Write Home About", to the bull-headed swagger of L7. With artwork that nods to the legacies and trappings of the genre whilst retaining a self-awareness and humour that proves you don't need big budgets to capture big feelings.

Brought together by perfectly-pitched production from Gordian Stimm, capturing the grittiness of a genre that has all-too often wandered into the shinier rooms of the production wheelhouse, and expert mastering by Koji Shiraki that crystallises the crunch and complexity of the sound.

"Gender, Trauma & Friendship" is a document of a band bursting with potential, and it practically begs the listener to let go, to allow yourself to feel deeply, to love and exist without apology.


released July 30, 2021

Written & performed by Slash Fiction (Webster, O’Sullivan, Stringer, Collison, Drinkwater)
Recorded in Sheffield at The Ship
Produced, engineered & mixed by Gordian Stimm
Additional engineering by Ed Allen
Mastered by Koji Shiraki at White Pine Projects
Released by Amateur Pop Incorporated


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