March 20, 2014

LP: Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love


Perfect Pussy's chaotic debut album offers unexpected catharsis.

I hope I can write this review with the same honesty that Meredith Graves shows in every single Perfect Pussy song. I heard "Interference Fits" for the first time as I glimpsed rock bottom in the heart of New York, as I realized how a life I'd dreamed and idealized for so long had only destroyed me and I panicked. I listened to that song over and over, not because I found solace, but because it gradually helped me find clarity. At first I only understood the havoc of noise, circling and rising and swallowing my thoughts, but when my listening became a necessary ritual, fragments of poetry emerged, and the words cracked me open. "I met my despair in midday light, and it was amazing, and I almost cried." Perhaps there's new light shining from the void that opens when identity falls apart.

Perfect Pussy's first release, I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling, found me at a point of emergency, and listening to those songs felt like meditation. A test of attention and endurance, and ultimately release. Say Yes to Love finds me at a new point of emergency, and it demands similar patience. Usually I can't wait out hell, I only ever run for cover and get lost, but somehow the sonic anarchy characteristic of Perfect Pussy strips my spirit bare. The tension between abstracted melody and chaotic crashes sounds like hope, the way "Bells" cyclones sky high just for a moment or the way the opening guitars to "Big Stars" open enough space to drive across forever. Somehow it all sounds like flashes of transformation, elusive but essential.

Meredith Graves said two thing in an interview with NME that I just can't get over: "It's not really a breakup record and it's not really about relationships, it's about breaking up with myself" and "I have to run toward the things that terrify me." Even though I can't decipher all of the lyrics yet, I hear these ideas manifesting like mantras, as reminders of the potential for joy amidst devastation and fear. I love that the words are so buried, and each time I play this record it sounds brand new, rife with complication and invitation. Even at its most violent, Say Yes to Love inspires me. I can't help but want to yell the beginning of "Dig" over and over, "and I want to fuck myself, and I want to eat myself," perhaps as purification, a way to remember the potential for beauty while railing against the world. Right now, I'm abiding in the space that spans "Advance Upon the Real" and "VII," considering the album as an act of ecstasy. If I could, I'd break out of my body in a burst of bright electricity. Maybe I sound crazy. I'm just trying to figure myself out and trying to figure out how to live and how to love, and amidst all of that, Perfect Pussy sound more important than anything else.

STREAM IT: 


Listen to Perfect Pussy on soundcloud.

THIS STAFF POST WAS CONTRIBUTED BY:  
Caroline Rayner likes getting tattoos, cutting up old magazines, driving long distances, and baking cookies. She also writes things for Tiny Mix Tapes and (when she remembers) her blog.