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”