EXCLUSIVE: Loamlands’ New Video For “Little River” Honors Queer NC History and Loss

Autostraddle and Loamlands are pleased to exclusively premiere the band’s new video for “Little River,” a solemn ode to queer community and Durham, North Carolina’s grim history with LGBTQ rights. The video showcases queer faces from throughout the community, while the song deals directly with the murder of a young gay man at Little River, which caused riots eventually leading to the beginning of Durham Pride.

“This video for ‘Little River’ is what queer community means to me,” songwriter Kym Register explains. “It’s a collaborative effort of queer/gay folks and other weirdos sharing their experience of this song as it relates to their own story of oppression and expression. History, especially local history, is relevant. Stories get lost unless we tell them – and untold stories are all too often relived by those of us that experience the intersectional and systemic violence of patriarchy and capitalism.”

Of the record Sweet High Rise, Register says, “I’ve been in the South, and in Durham in particular, most of my life. I see the same things happening to my small town that I’ve read about for years in history books. Speedy gentrification is raising property taxes and kicking poorer folks further towards the outskirts of town. We know this. On this record, I’m telling stories. Stories about love, about abuse, about Durham’s brutal history with LGBTQ and police violence. I’m telling stories of my own, stories that I’ve encountered, stories that enrage me and that maybe not everyone knows… These are reflections of a queer dirtbag in love, of owning the desire to kill all abusers, of small town break ups, of the pent-up anxiety that comes being on the cusp of identifying as angry and of standing strongly as gender queer when I am misidentified as ‘she’ or ‘he.’ This record is a release.”

Register adds, “Sincere thank you to Michael Penny who was present at the Little River attacks, Vivica C. Cox and Stormie Dae who took hours to get did for this shoot and let us dunk their dragged up faces and wigs in water, Endless Endless for taking the time and care with this video that it deserved, and the rest of the babes in the shoot for being vulnerable with us. Such love. #weareandhavealwaysbeenthis”

Stef Schwartz is a founding member and the self-appointed Vapid Fluff Editor at Autostraddle.com. She currently resides in New York City, where she spends her days writing songs nobody will ever hear and her nights telling much more successful musicians what to do. Follow her on twitter and/or instagram.

Stef has written 441 articles for us.

5 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this Stef! Loamlands are currently on repeat in my car, Kym’s voice stirs my soul and regularly brings me to tears. It’s good to have this context for ‘Little River’, which I adored before and love even more now.

  2. I’ve lived in NC since I was 1 year old, including some years in Durham and I never new about this. My first pride March was in Durham as a teenager grappling with my sexuality for the first time. I was thrilled to be in a space where I was not alone. It was the hay-day of Amendment 1 (protection of marriage) and I was fighting against it in Raleigh every weekend, but this was a place where I could be free.

    Knowing the history makes these experiences so much more powerful to me.

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