The Theatrical-Pop Powerhouse Seeks Redemption and Renewal with a New Song
Motsinger bursts at the seams.
Kyle Motsinger is a Broadway baby, of sorts, marrying orchestral-based pop music with singer-songwriter beauty and intoxicating cinematography. His 2017 studio debut, the lo-fi, '60s-bent Far Away, certainly set the tone for his warm and unique brand. Now, he returns with "Getting Closer," a synth-pop mid-tempo which reaffirms his talent as a tunesmith, while pushing the boundaries way out of his comfort zone.
In the accompanying visual, which premieres exclusively today, Motsinger traipses across the New York City landscape. The footage ⎯⎯ directed by Tyler Milliron, of Milliron Studios, in what results in the pair's sixth onscreen collaboration ⎯⎯ filters through starburst exposures, seemingly embodying Motsinger's own long, winding journey to enlightenment.
"'Getting Closer' started as a bit of a challenge to myself. Could I write a simple, fun uptempo song in structure and still tell a story that was meaningful? I came up with a song that felt jazzy and more synth-pop than the songs on my debut album," Motsinger tells Popdust of writing such a genre-blurring song. "I never intended to record it right away, but my bass player and drummer, Chris Bonner and Zachary Eldridge, insisted we get into the studio. What resulted was a combination of styles that feels like both a throwback to '90s pop and a continuation of the theatrical music I love to write."
Popping a vintage cassette tape into his Walkman (yeah, remember those?!), Motsinger is seemingly transported into the past, somehow trapped between spheres. The synths kick in; the blood gets pumping; and the quirky, exuberant performer weaves through the concrete jungle. "Felt like I was getting closer," he croons, the scratch of production whirling in spades beneath him. "Oh, captain, my captain, gonna seize the day," he later professes. Soon, he finally learns to swim on his own, arriving at profound self-love and self-worth.
He continues offering insight into the visual, "The '90s feel of the song leant itself to the style of the video. I wanted it to be a groove around one of the colorful 'Sing for Hope' pianos currently on the streets in NYC. Artist Patrick Freeman designed a colorful piano that was placed in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the month of June. I got a colorful romper to wear and a vintage cassette player with headphones to complete the look. The resulting video is a ridiculous trip. It's colorful and fun to watch, and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do."
"Getting Closer" is out now on iTunes.
POP⚡DUST | Read More…
Plus celebrities react to Nigerian protests.
Young people across Nigeria have been pouring into the streets for the last two weeks to protest police brutality, specifically the controversial special police force known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Tension came to a head on Tuesday when armed forces fired on protestors in Lagos, the biggest city in Nigeria, who were out past the state-mandated curfew. According to AP News, "Police also fired tear gas at one point, and smoke could be seen billowing from several areas in the city's center. Two private TV stations were forced off the air at least temporarily as their offices were burned."
Not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
October 21, 2020 marks the third annual International Pronouns Day.
Created by an independent board and first observed in 2018, it's one of those small commemorative holidays that trends on Twitter in hopes of drawing attention to a pressing social issue, like International Women's Day (March 8th) or the ever so serious National Taco Day (October 4).
But Pronouns Day in particular "seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace." The organization's website further describes, "Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people's multiple, intersecting identities."
But in the words of nonbinary activist and Trevor Project's Head of Advocacy and Government Afairs, Sam Brenton, "Pronouns are hard." Never before have pronouns been scrutinized as closely as they are in 2019 for their power to (in)validate or accurately describe something as fluid as gender identity. In fact, it was only this year that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary expanded the definition of "they" "to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary" (thus codifying a long history in English language of using "they" to refer to a singular non-gendered entity).
‘Everyone has the responsibility to be respectful.’ — The @TrevorProject’s Sam Brinton is explaining why pronouns a… https://t.co/pMMO8KRvBR— NowThis (@NowThis)1571253180.0
But throwing an additional wrench in the works is the fact that not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
Take me, for instance: Despite having female biology, I couldn't pass a lie detector test saying I'm a "woman." But my pragmatic, Puritan family is still endearingly confused by the idea of "liberal arts," let alone the notion of gender fluidity. And I'd rather share a communal language with them than do the emotional and mental labor of re-orienting their worldview for them. Plus, I have the privilege of passing as female without feeling too, too, terribly dysphoric (which non-binary people can definitely suffer from, despite not identifying as trans).
But enough about me, look at Queer Eye's beloved Jonathan Van Ness. While he's been outspoken about being genderqueer, gay, and HIV positive, he prefers he/him pronouns. "The older I get, the more I think that I'm nonbinary," Van Ness said. "I'm gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman." As he told Out magazine, he doesn't identify as a man, but he does prefer "he/him/his" pronouns. In his view, those pronouns don't detract from or contradict his non-binary identity, because gender is not about simple binaries between masculine and feminine identifiers. "Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I'm here for it," he said. "I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It's this social construct that I don't really feel like I fit into the way I used to."
On the other hand, last month non-binary singer Sam Smith announced that their preferred pronouns are "they/them." Smith posted to Instagram, "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out." People like Smith and Trevor Project's Sam Brenton simply feel more validated, seen, heard, and true to themselves with gender-neutral pronouns. Smith wrote, "I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f*ck it!"
Most importantly, as pretty much every non-binary person and activist is aware, changing cultural norms is hard. While LGBTQ+ activism is inspired and passionate and dedicated to expanding human rights to all gender identities, we all know that changing society's entire understanding of gender and pronoun usage is about slowly opening minds. As Smith wrote, "I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you." Happy Pronouns Day to you/him/her/they/(f)aer/zim.