Introducing: Pansy


Image credit: Emma Collins

By Reegan Saunders

Bandcamp Fridays have officially become the best days for discovering new music. Every month when I’m feeling nostalgic for live music, I look forward to falling in love with another musician. This Friday’s favorite is Pansy, the self-titled debut for the solo project by Chicago-based musician Vivian McCall. 

I was first introduced to Pansy through the song “Woman of Ur Dreams”, a 60s pop-rock single accompanied by a music video that feels like it came straight from a VHS tape. It’s a song best explained by Vivian’s blurb on  Bandcamp: 

“I wrote this song to a little manifest confidence. Transitioning is weird because your body changes in ways you don’t expect and suddenly you develop new insecurities about your attractiveness and wonder whether your gender-nonconforming body and heart deserve love. This song is about owning yourself and proclaiming that you are somebody’s dream girl. For the record, I do think it’s corny, but so am I. The production itself is a nod to Joe Meek, one of my idols, and a kind of lost, problematic queer icon. I’d argue he’s more important than Phil Spector.”

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“Woman of Ur Dreams” set the tone for Pansy’s album. Inspired by Vivian’s journey as a trans woman, Pansy is fun, free and unfiltered in the best possible way. Listening to the album feels like being home for the fall holidays ––it’s jarring and eye-opening, but also comforting and familiar. It’s like walking on the cobblestone of your college campus and finally being happy with the life you have created for yourself. 

My personal favorite on the album is “Anybody Help Me”, mostly because of the funky guitar intro. The entire album is a collection of playful sounds––experimentation at its finest. 

Need something to do this weekend? Get yourself a cold soda, find a nice spot on the floor and listen to Pansy’s debut.

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