Pansy

by Pansy

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    Green tint cassette with fold out case with lyrics.

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    American Apparel Eggplant Shirt with 2 color screen print of Cyan and Magenta Pansy design

    Features
    4.3 oz./yd2, 100% combed ring-spun cotton, 30 singles
    Heather Grey is 90% ring-spun cotton, 10% polyester
    Ash Grey is 99% ring-spun cotton, 1% polyester
    100% cotton thread on color White
    Shoulder-to-shoulder tape and 7/8” seamed collar
    1” double-needle sleeve and bottom hem
    Double-satin razor label
    Tubular

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1.
Who will hold me at night? Who will love me enough to call me their wife? I will never know unless I show who I am
2.
I hope my life is gettin’ better/ Right now I can’t see a way out of this hell My heart is a raging fire/ and I’m coughing from the smoke I can’t find a woman in me/ I’m dying in a living body I’m tryin’ to live, can’t you see? / Can somebody help me, anybody help me? My waking mind tells me I’m alive/ Consumed by thoughts and I think that I’m Not trapped in a body that’s not mine/ It’s circumstance that’s got me I can’t find a woman in me/ I’m dying in a living body I’m tryin’ to live, can’t you see?/ Can somebody help me, anybody help me? I take pills everyday/ Save all my money so I can pay New face, operate between my legs/ Make someone new, I can’t wait I can’t find a woman in me/ I’m dying in a living body I’m tryin’ to live, can’t you see?/ Can somebody help me, anybody help me? I can’t find a woman in me/ I’m dying in a living body I’m tryin’ to live, can’t you see?/ Can somebody help me, anybody help me? Somebody help me/ Anybody help me Somebody help me/ Anybody help me somebody help me/ Anybody help me
3.
4.
Trash 02:32
Do you ever wake up and feel like trash?/ I do almost every day Stay in bed, read the news/ Nothing’s good, but it’s all true At least I know what’s up If I were in school I think I’d get dressed before 2 But for now I’ll find out what it’s like to be unemployed Least I have accolades/ and a real good resume Least I have accolades/ and a real good, real good resume
5.
Shoes 03:20
I tied the shoes to my feet/ They are black; they are worn I pulled the shirt on my back/ It is blue; it is worn And I wish/ I bought another pair of shoes I wish/ I bought another shirt at the store Instead of the same old blue shirt I’ve/ Bought a thousand times before Everytime I make a change/ Comes out wrong Everytime I make a change/ Comes out wrong My hair is golden blonde/ I dyed it in my friends kitchen With a friend of her friend/ Who had pink hair And my friends told me it was beautiful/ And it shone And I wish/ I bought another pair of shoes I wish/ I bought another shirt at the store Instead of the same old blue shirt I’ve/ Bought a thousand times before Everytime I make a change/ Comes out wrong Everytime I make a change/ Comes out wrong Everytime I make a change/ Comes out wrong
6.
Turn Ur Back 02:50
How do you loom so large after all the times I tried to let you go? Like a shadow from a mountain top I could not climb so I stayed below Made me mad/ Made you sad/ Loved you half my life Flowers that have bloomed for you/ Now have all died Do you even care who I was to you? / Next time you turn your back, I won’t be there, won’t be there for you Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Every thought of you gave quite a scare In my dreams of you hands running through your hair Made me mad/ Made you sad/ Loved you half my life Flowers that have bloomed for you/ Now have all died Do you even care who I was to you?/ Next time I turn my back, you won’t be there, you won’t be there for me Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done? Oh my, oh my God/ What have I done?
7.
We were in love/ That was a long, long time ago You had to leave/ I had to stay I think about you every day/ All the reasons I had to run La da da da da da da Look at me and how I’ve changed/ I’m the woman of your dreams Can you see me on one knee?/ As the woman of your dreams I’m no boy, I’ve left that scene/ As the woman of your dreams Kiss me, kiss me passionately/ I’m the woman of your dreams It’s been years since we’ve touched/ But when we did, I couldn’t get enough Baby, you knew me/ Only as a man Imagine me now/ As only lovers can Look at me and how I’ve changed/ I’m the woman of your dreams Can you see me on one knee/ As the woman of your dreams I’m no boy, I’ve left that scene/ As the woman of your dreams Kiss me, kiss me passionately/ I’m the woman of your dreams You know I love you baby You know I love you baby You know I love you baby You know I love you baby
8.
Mommi Housi 01:33
At my mom’s I walked down the stairs/ To the kitchen there Staring at my chest that has become a breast/ Nestled in the palm of my hand Doesn’t always feel right/ I don’t always know Doesn’t always feel right/ I don’t let it show In the shower/ I wash the skin, made softer than linen Dry my face, meet eye to eye/ Correcting in my mind Doesn’t always feel right/ I don’t always know Doesn’t always feel right/ I don’t ever let you know Doesn’t always feel right/ I don’t always know I-Doesn’t always feel right/ I never let you know
9.
Me In Mine 03:18
Ready to start my new life this year/ I’m done hiding, done abiding by the rules Of how I’m supposed to look and feel/ It’s real, fuck you Our lives are tragic/ Super magic, too Hilarious/ Notorious Celebrate me in the media/ Stare at me in the street, yeah I don’t want to feel special in your eyes/ I just wanna be me in mine Oh God, I won’t expect a charmed life/ I just want to be me in mine I’ll imagine, I’m a person content/ With my life choices, raise a steady voice and- Proclaim my way of living is beautiful/ It’s beautiful I’m alive I’d be lying not to share my pain/ I know it’s hard to exist much of the time In a world that doesn’t want you to cross the lines you need to cross to survive I don’t want to feel special in your eyes, I just wanna be me in mine Oh yeah-- I don’t want a world that’s perfect, I just want to be me in my life What do you do?/ When all you can do is go down Reach for the sky/ You throw all your hopes to the ground You have to believe you’re worth it in this world to survive I don’t wanna feel special in your eyes I just want to be me in mine I won’t dream of a perfect world, I just want to be alive I don’t wanna feel special in your eyes

about

The amorphous, stretching experience of change can be difficult to capture, to process, to understand. At times it may feel like a single moment, but change occurs in an endless string of experiences. Through Pansy, Vivian McCall shares nine impressions of a year marked by that transformation, tribulation, and ultimately empowerment.

More than three years ago, McCall began transitioning, a process which inspired the songs that make up her self-titled debut album, Pansy. And while the moment at which she decided to embrace a future as a trans woman may seem central, she shows that every moment on the journey has its value and incredible depth. Along the way, McCall came to learn that she had gained the ability to truly feel and understand herself—and could convey that in her art. “Before I transitioned, I could intellectualize it, but I very rarely knew what I was feeling. A lot of people experience clarity for the first time when they start taking the right hormones and they know what it feels like to function,” she says. “It's as if you have just woken up for yourself. Being aware of my emotions now makes me a better person, a better partner, a better friend, and a better artist.”

Prior to transitioning and launching Pansy, McCall established herself as a fixture in the Chicago indie scene—primarily as a member of the rock collective Jungle Green. In addition to records as a band, the six members of Jungle Green break off into a handful of other side projects and solo projects, with McCall frequently acting as a producer for home recordings. That familial energy and constant source of inspiration and collaboration gave McCall the space she needed to explore the depths of her own heart and mind. “The songs came easy because I was constantly processing. I never tried to sing any particular way to convince anybody of anything,” she says. “That was the emotion that was coming out naturally.”

McCall parses those emotions through an open-hearted mesh of classic AM pop songwriting, bleary college rock atmospherics, and lyrics that favor plainspoken honesty over complication. The album opens on the acoustic guitar and lo-fi hiss of “Who Will Love Me Enough”, a song that recalls Phil Elverum’s Mount Eerie. Lyrically, McCall offers a look at the fear and anxiety that comes alongside the joy and strength of transitioning—a part of the equation not always given the honest treatment she demands. “Who will hold me at night? Who will love me enough to call me their wife?” she sighs. But then the answer comes in clearly: “I will never know unless I show who I am.”

Elsewhere, “Anybody Help Me” parses the process of physical transformation through an absolutely giddy fuzz rock anthem. “I can’t find the woman in me,” the chorus bursts. The verses meanwhile swirl majestically in the excitement of hope and the pressure of change: “I take pills every day, save all my money so I can pay, new face, operate between my legs, make someone new, I can’t wait.”

Representing that duality is something not often seen in art, and something that McCall felt deeply both throughout her transitioning process and also in these songs. “I can’t say that everything is totally peachy and easy. It's hard to be trans sometimes and there’s always feedback from people around you, from society, even from yourself,” she says. “But it's difficult for anybody to inhabit a body. People in the trans community will hear themselves, but anybody who’s ever gone through radical change in their lives will recognize these feelings too.”

Pansy was recorded on the same lo-fi equipment as many Jungle Green recordings, as well as side projects like Gold Star Gold Star, and brims with homespun warmth and intimacy. The swirling “Turn Your Back” pairs simple drum machine patterns with a rubbery buried bass line and a constant wave of needling guitar akin to The Magnetic Fields. On “Woman of Ur Dreamz”, the guitars verge on surf-y while McCall’s voice swings from resonant classic crooner tones to a falsetto sway. Samples of retro inspirational cassette tapes get chopped and screwed through “Tomorrow, When I’m Even Better”, McCall pulling from classic tropes of self-help and decimating their simplicity while a White Album swirl of psychedelic panic builds to a fervor.

As the record comes to a close, McCall has started to grow into herself. “Staring at my chest, it has become a breast, nestled in the palm of my hand,” she sings on “Mommi Housi”. The expansive “Me in Mine” ends the album with a powerful statement. “I don’t wanna feel special in your eyes, I just wanna be me in mine,” she shouts, her voice crackling with a newfound clarity and strength.

“I'm not doing anything other than functionally trying to exist in the world, but that is such a hated thing. People will, for the rest of my life, be opposed to the thing that I need to do to just be a functionally happy person,” she explains. “But anybody can understand that experience of coming to the realization that you actually matter because you say so, and not because other people say that you do.”

credits

released April 2, 2021

Mastered by Kevin Basko

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