In a fabulous combination of all things good in this world, Alter Boy have covered Lil Nas X’s ‘Call Me By Your Name (Montero)’ for Triple J’s Like A Version series.
The release of the video coincides with International Day Of People With Disability. Celebrated every December 3, the event aims to encourage public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people living with disability.
The clip features audible sung lyrics, as well as Auslan and subtitles, making it super accessible. According to the National Disability Practioners factsheet, Auslan is a uniquely Australian language used by 20,000 Aussies each day.
The clip begins with the band’s three front-people standing motionless in a line. Their drummer is positioned behind them while mystical synth chord progressions are played to build anticipation.
When the lyrics begin, the singer flips Nas X’s original deep baritone vocals on their head, replacing them with some higher pitched, melodic notes that fit the downtempo beat perfectly.
The singer is supported by two other band members who use sign language to express the lyrics, while simultaneously adding a soulful visual ambience to the video.
According to their website, the band from Perth identify their genre as “queerlectro pop”.
The group has a history of bridging the gap between music fans who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or trans.
After meeting in an Auslan class, the members decided to form a band, with vocalist Molly Aaron describing the first time they chatted to Jack Meakins, another one of the group’s vocalists, in an interview with the ABC.
“We were the only people in the class who were Deaf and Hard of Hearing and decided that it would be really interesting to create a music project around deafness.”
They then described the diversity of the music listening experience for Deaf folk:
“Some Deaf people like listening to low beats and subs because they can really feel that, some use cochlear implants and hearing aids, some folks don’t and they just use Auslan,” they noted.
Laura Bullock, another singer in the group, finished off the interview by speaking about the general perceptions toward the Deaf community: “There’s quite a common misconception that Deaf is just one type, where it’s a spectrum.”
I can’t think of a groovier way to end your working week!