Redefining the perceptions of house music is just one of the many goals of the genre-bending new Poisonous Relationship record, A FAGGOT IN A TEMPEST. Poisonous Relationship is just one identity of Jamie Crewe, a Glasgow-based musician, artist and filmmaker who explores themes of gender, sexuality, mental health, and politics through surprisingly personal and poetic dance music. Tracks like the first single “Give Me My Heaven!” express the joyous nature of house music, with familiar piano stabs, hi-hats, and soulful, feminine vocals, while also giving way to something sparser and almost desolate in its minimalism. The album begs for multiple listens, each plaintive note bringing the songs just short of an emotional resolution that never fully arrives.
While deconstructing the essence of “dance,” track by track and sound by sound, Crewe seeks to build their own sanctuary, invite their friends, and create a space where the music they always wanted to hear plays forever, like the endless nights in the big cities they didn’t grow up in. When we spoke to Crewe, it was after a long year of unrest and turmoil for the queer community worldwide, and our conversation veered from the personal, to the political, and back again—much like the music of Poisonous Relationship itself.