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Aural Fixation

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Aural Fixation

Andy Gott and Drew Tweddle

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Aural Fixation is a fortnightly queer music podcast that explores LGBTQI+ themes in music and pop culture. Released fortnightly on Thursdays, each installment follows besties Drew and Andy as they discuss an album that is loved by queer people, made by queer artists, or speaks to queer experiences. British expats living and recording in Sydney, Drew and Andy bring a uniquely cross-genre and cross-hemispheric viewpoint to being gay and loving music, shared perhaps only by the Minogue sisters. ...
 
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The boys are joined by artist, photographer, DJ, and Andy's mate from uni, Matthew Arthur Williams, to discuss the legendary Joni Mitchell and her 1975 album, The Hissing of Summer Lawns. An unrivalled figure in pop culture, Joni loves the queers and the queers love Joni but her icon status isn't as obvious or surface level as most of our usual Aur…
 
Christina Aguilera's masterpiece Stripped has been cited as inspiration by countless pop sensations including Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande. From self love, to feminism, to sex positivity, the music gave gals, gays and theys permission to roar when it hit the shelves in 2002. Nearly two decades later, Stripped still gets our t…
 
After over seventy episodes and several many bottles of chilled Semillon (send me home), we've reached our Cycle 7 finale! As is tradition (of which there are many!) this ep sees us tackling a subject that's a little... left of the usual format. Second only to Madonna (welcome to her fempire), RuPaul's Drag Race is the cultural touchstone of Aural …
 
We're in for a treat this fortnight with our first of two very special Drag Race episodes. First up, superstar of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under, Maxi Shield, regales us with her long and very personal history with... Madonna. Yes, we know, every Aural Fixation episode is essentially about Madonna, but this topic was Maxi's choice and for good reaso…
 
April 2020 was a rough time to release new music, but that didn't stop Rina Sawayama from having one of the strongest pop albums of last year. The eponymous Sawayama was an eclectic mash-up of Y2K nostalgia, paying homage to early 2000's manufactured pop, nu-metal and R&B. The album went on to feature on several best of lists, and Sawayama herself …
 
A mere 18 years old and mother of a three week old baby when her debut album, The Lion and the Cobra, was released, Sinéad O’Connor shot to stratospheric success off of her haunting vocals, powerful songwriting and give-no-fucks visuals. In this episode, we use Sinéad's blistering debut as a starting point for an exploration of her distilled queern…
 
When it comes to sweeping romance, earnest lyrics and – let's face it, songs that last six minutes MINIMUM – there really is no topping Ms. Céline Marie Claudette Dion. From humble beginnings in Charlemagne, Quebec (which is queer) to becoming the best-selling Canadian recording artist in history, Queen Céline has dominated the music industry for o…
 
This fortnight, we're joined by Jared Richards, a cultural critic living on Gadigal land, and writer for NME, The Guardian, The Big Issue, Sissy Screens and more. Last year, Jared wrote a beautiful article on the evolution of Sufjan Stevens that caught our queer eye, so we welcomed him into the studio (pre-second Sydney lockdown) to unpack the myst…
 
It's a Bad Queers double dip as we welcome on Kris Chesson, the podcasting partner of Shana Sumers from our Beyonce episode, to explore why her queer icon is... Drake. Just hold on, we're going homo. In this episode we use Drake's 2011 album Take Care to centre a discussion on the dos and don'ts of 'dirty macking', what it means to be a stud, and w…
 
Start spreading the news because this is one for the ages, Mein Herr. In an ep that might as well be titled "Legends on Legends" we welcome Australian stage actor and drag superstar Trevor Ashley to tackle Liza Minnelli's groundbreaking Live from Radio City Music Hall album. The show was directed for television in 1992, around the time of Liza's th…
 
No matter what hemisphere you’re in, a solstice is upon us. And what better way to ring it in than with a heart-to-rabbit heart on British pop music’s sacred moon child, Florence Welch (and, of course, her Machine). In Cycle 7’s premiere episode, Andy and Drew are accompanied by Sydney drag monarch Peach Fuzz (aka Anthony Severino) to tackle the ba…
 
Icons are a dime a dozen here at Aural Fixation (that'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. For better and for worse, the animated motion pictures produced by the Walt Disney Animation Studios have profoundly shaped the media consumed by children…
 
Over the past six cycles of Aural Fixation, we have discussed many artists who have either eluded to their queerness without directly acknowledging it, or generated a vast queer fanbase without actually being qard qarrrying queers themselves. However sometimes there are artists that we deeply revere who just so happen to be out and proud, which mak…
 
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 Fi…
 
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. The album's opener "Whole Life" speaks to a reckoning of self that seems to have taken half a lifetime and sets the stage for the personal examination of a gay man approaching middle age.…
 
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 J…
 
"Forget being cool, I'm going to be honest," states a defiant Beyoncé in her 2013 documentary Life is But a Dream. "I'm going to be sad, I'm going to be passionate, I'm going to be vulnerable. And I'm going to sing from my heart." It was with this mindset that Bey embarked on her fourth solo album, 4. Fresh from a pretty public separation from her …
 
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 t…
 
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. While it’s fair to assume the subject matter was directly inform…
 
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 o…
 
Q: Has cycle five been Aural Fixation's most diverse yet? A: Possibly maybe, mary! Over the past eight eps, we've beaten around the Kate Bush, dreamt of Tejano superstar Selena, salivated over Honey Dijon and gotten physical with Dua (to name a few!) We've welcomed incredible guests, gone profesh and moved in-studio (again, a huge shout out to the …
 
What do sequels, ghosts, and Christmas all have in common? They're queer! Join us (won't you?) for our second annual Christmas episode, where we take a trip down Yuletide Lane and dust off festive classiques by previous Aural Fixation subjects. It's mulled wine, it's mince pies, it's... listens. Despite non-stop merriment, we're still asking the ha…
 
In March 2020, it's safe to say that the world was in search of a spark to pierce the dark. One such spark came in the form of Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia – a bombastic retro-journey that took pop and dance music cues from the past and thrust us towards a (hopefully) brighter tomorrow. A few short months later came the lockdown project to end all l…
 
As one fifth of the most successful girl group of all time, Mel C spent her early twenties inseparably tied to her athletic alter ego. Her status as Sporty Spice was so entrenched in her public persona that when the Spice Girls took a hiatus in 1999, Mel C did what any trapped queer person would do; she cut her hair, dyed it blonde, changed her nam…
 
After a winning streak of iconique guests, Andy and Drew sit down this episode with nothing but a bottle of bubbles and one of the world's biggest pop acts... ever. If you've been to a wedding, experienced a road trip or watched a film starring Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski, you've probably heard an ABBA song. If you've enjoyed…
 
Honey Dijon was born in Chicago and leapt headfirst into the club scene as a teenager. Mentored by house music legends Derrick Carter and Mark Farina, it wasn’t long before she established herself as a world-class club and remix DJ and producer. In 2017, Honey produced her debut album with an array of guests lending their vocals. Aptly named The Be…
 
In 2009, multi-talented queer power duo Wendy & Lisa confirmed that their former bandleader, brother-in-arms and boss, Prince, was definitely not gay, but rather a… fancy lesbian. What a relief. Not that we’re scrambling for excuses to explore the Purple One for Aural Fixation. Purveyor of assless chaps, a deft hand with eyeliner and a spiritual co…
 
In the pop pantheon of stars taken from us too soon, few tales are as tragic – or as gruesome – as the tale of Selena. The lead singer in a family band created by her ambitious father, Selena spent most of her young life on the road playing in restaurants and state fairs. Despite being a first-language English speaker, most of Selena’s music was re…
 
Hey, so glad you could make it! This episode we talk Celebrity Skin, the 1998 crack-at-the-mainstream album by Courtney Love and her band, Hole. Firmly planted in the mystique and fallacy of Hollywood and California, Celebrity Skin serves as a worthy counterpart to the mystique and fallacy of Courtney Love. A hotbed of raw talent, yes… a problemati…
 
We’ve reached Cycle 5 of Aural Fixation, and what better way to celebrate than with a discussion on the woman that completes the quinfecta of Andy’s top bitches – the incomparable Miss Kate Bush. A child prodigy with a penchant for dancing, karate and pianos, Bush released her first album The Kick Inside aged 19 (with some songs written when she wa…
 
The term “iconic” is bandied about on this podcast far too often, but when it comes to describing Madonna’s Vogue, there’s really no better adjective. At the intersection of old Hollywood glamour and the New York ballroom scene, Vogue was responsible for introducing queer POCs and their art to the mainstream on its release in 1990. Accompanied by D…
 
We started Aural Fixation's Cycle 4 by paying homage to Mother Robyn, with no idea of the extent we would truly be dancing on our own over the next few months. We found solace with queer giants like Queen, Janelle Monáe and Cher, and explored iconic queer tracks in a streak of mini episodes. We also recorded mostly 600km apart, with technical diffi…
 
If you’re a human being with ears under the age of 40, Queen have never not existed. For decades the iconic four-piece – fronted by the frontman to end all frontmen – pumped out hit after hit after hit. So much so that when Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991 from AIDS-related bronchopneumonia, he had left us with ten careers-worth of music despite…
 
Iconic duos have been cruelly separated by Miss Rona the world over, but finally your most loved audio couple reunite. Against the suitably spectacular backdrop of Australia's Snowy Mountains region, Drew and Andy are joined by a very special guest, for a very special topic. ARIA-nominated, Golden Guitar Award-winning, chart-topping country singer …
 
At the intersections of Black, female and queer excellence in 2020 sits a Baptist-raised sci-fi nerd who can act, dance, rap, write, and of course, sing. Not remotely intimidating to tackle in fifty-seven minutes at all, but Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer is worth it. From her first EP in 2007, Monáe has put her money where her mouth is. High conce…
 
Years & Years bound to the top of the UK charts in 2015 with their fourth single "King", the band's unapologetically queer frontman Olly Alexander sitting proudly at the helm. Their debut album Communion shortly followed, an 18-strong cavalcade that spawned a total of seven (!) singles and global recognition among straight and gay fans alike. As th…
 
Now seems a better time than ever to crack the fire exit and escape Earth, so thank the gay gods for Gaga who's created a whole new planet where equality rules and kindness punks run free. Welcome to Chromatica. In our inaugural “First Fix”, we tackle Lady Gaga's sixth studio album upon its release to dish our initial thoughts and dissect our favou…
 
Mom, she is a rich man – and one of the fiercest icons in the queer canon at that. Cherilyn Sarkisian's inimitable force has carried her from 1965 to the present day. There really is no one like Cher. A towering goddess of this stature couldn't be tackled by Drew and Andy alone, so we roped in long-time listener and huge friend of the pod, Matthew …
 
If you're not listening to Quick Fix, you're only getting half the story – and we've got the full download on the lead single, "Tenderoni", from Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke's first solo album The Boxer. Released ten (!?) years ago, Kele's bold new musical direction and image was in stark contrast to that curated over Bloc Party's meteroic rise…
 
Over 30 years ago, Beverly Glenn-Copeland released Keyboard Fantasies, a six track album that sold very few copies. It wasn’t until a Japanese music stan discovered the album in 2015 and shared it amongst his fellow audiophiles that it was lauded as a new-age, synthesised masterpiece. Before long, a number of record labels were fighting to sign Cop…
 
Heaven is, in fact, a Quick Fix on Earth, as well as four minutes of utter pop excellence performed by iconic ally Belinda Carlise. Join us for an exploration of this A grade masterpiece, including but not limited to, topics such as why this song is so bloody good, why this song is particularly gay, and why “San Junipero” is the greatest episode of…
 
What have I done to deserve this? What are we going to do about the rich? I don’t know what you want but I can’t give it to you – musings we should all be considering, or Pet Shop Boys song titles? Both! We’re well into Cycle 4, and for a supposed queer music podcast we took our sweet time getting to this iconic duo. Nevertheless, here we are with …
 
Few break-up tracks capture the boppery, struttery and sheer i’m-so-over-you-ery found soaked throughout Song 4 Mutya, our next selection for Aural Fixation's Quick Fix. Conceived by UK electronica duo Groove Armada, the song was originally meant for Estelle before being handed to ex-Sugababe (and current hun) Mutya Buena shortly after she departed…
 
As we’re sure you’re aware, recent developments surrounding Madame Rona and government mandates regarding social distancing mean that for the foreseeable future, Drew and Andy won't be able to record Aural Fixation in the same room as one another for a while. While we play around with ways in which we can record our episodes remotely, we wanted to …
 
In the grand tradition of reality TV show companion spin-offs broadcast on D-grade companion TV channels, we're keeping the flame burning at Aural Fixation with Quick Fix: Shorter episodes focusing on a song, rather than an album, which left a similar impact on our queer selves. We're kicking off with a look at the "finest all-female collaboration …
 
The world continues to get more topsy turvy, but it also continues to spin, so therefore you have a brand new episode of Aural Fixation. We're kicking off with an artist who, quite frankly we cannot believe we haven't tackled sooner! Hang on – have we done Robyn before? As you can imagine with three EPs and a lot of heartbreak to get through, it's …
 
We can't lie – these are mysterious times. Everything feels a little bizarre and confusing at the moment, but something you can rely on is your fortnightly dose of unbridled queer joy from Drew and Andy. To wrap up our third (third!) season (cycle?), the boys once again take a deep dive into the DMs to provide their answers to your questions. This …
 
Have you ever felt like you’re ever-so-slightly less-than? Do you ever get the sense that you’re living in someone else’s shadow? Have you, too, experienced that niggling sensation that there is somebody else – somebody more successful than you, more recognised, more universally revered – consistently beating you to the punch? OF COURSE YOU DO! You…
 
We’re coming out, and we want the world to know… that not all gay men are born with an innate, all-encompassing love for disco, ok!? In fact, only 50% of Aural Fixation was, as we discover on a glitter ball-guided tour through 1980’s diana, by Diana Ross. Released in the disco revolution’s twilight years, diana was the Boss breaking free from the s…
 
A tornado blew around the Aural Fixation recording studio before we came, and, well, excuse the mess it made! Ok, that analogy can only go so far, but nonetheless, the memorable opener from Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” has endured since it’s 2012 release on Channel Orange. At the time, a ground-breaking hip hop album documenting the lost loves …
 
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