When I listened to Deep Fantasy for the first time, I was painting my nails, hoping to reflect late spring with a shade of pink. I thought about what it means to spend time choosing a color, then applying two coats and waiting for them to dry. I wondered about the radical potential of cosmetics for someone, like me, who constantly checks the circumference of each wrist. Whether I’m painting my nails or drawing winged eyeliner, I’m tuning out a history of hating myself.
Each time I plan a tattoo, I consider curves as canvas. White Lung’s Mish Way has said that “Snake Jaw” deals with body dysmorphia, and the song’s sheer propulsion shuts up every voice that’s ever made me feel like I need to whittle my body down to nothing but angles. I don’t know how to scream like Way, but I’ve realized that I can rail against cultural conditions through permanent ink. I’ve got a one-eyed cat and a swallow that I share with two of my best friends, and I’ve got the words “get lost” that I share with another friend, and I’ve got a flying gramophone from one of my all-time favorite albums. I’m testing power and deciding what matters while reclaiming my body through acts of imagination and honesty.
White Lung demand attention, engaging heart-to-heart conversations while simultaneously rioting. Mish Way owns self-destruction and sticks up for friends and drafts her own rules. She invades and destroys, her voice a thunderclap in a storm of drums and guitar, cracking open brand new space. On “In Your Home,” she screams, “I will burn your throne.” It’s not quite a call to arms, yet such an assertion certainly inspires confrontation, raising hell for the sake of expressing personal agency.
I wonder if anyone in White Lung is afraid of anything.
I doubt it.
I’m afraid of speaking up, because I don’t want to sound stupid or boring. I keep quiet around most people. I’m afraid of starting a band, even though I’ve wanted to start a band for years. It’s been forever since I’ve played guitar. I don’t know how to command attention or convince anyone to listen, and I’d prefer if no one ever looked at me. I’m afraid of fucking up.
Writing about Deep Fantasy makes me nervous, because I can’t help but think about feminism. For a long time, I wasn’t sure how to talk about feminism, because I hadn’t read much theory or listened to much Riot Grrrl, and I didn’t want to sound uninformed or irrelevant or weird. Yet, I’ve recently realized that I can learn from anyone, including myself, that I can study my own experiences alongside whatever texts and albums I’ve chosen to compile. When I listen to Deep Fantasy, I know that I’m not alone when I’m feeling angry or crazy, and I know that I’m not wrong either.