Still trying to find their feet in life, let alone in music, Jake Edwards’ EP ‘Pink + Blue’ is a huge step into the industry for them.
Edwards, who is a non-binary individual, has gathered a large following online, especially through the video-sharing network YouTube. Alongside discussing their life and transition, Edwards has also used this platform to advance themselves in the music industry. This was through posting videos of them performing songs, both covers of famous hits and debuts of their original tracks, which became a popular feature on their channel.
On 30th June, they announced that they were to release their debut studio EP, ‘Pink + Blue’, which features Edwards playing alongside a live band. Upon revealing the artwork and five-song track list, Edwards has spoken out about how the tracks are deeply personal to them and are based around their views and experiences of gender and to a lesser extent, their attraction towards others.
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The most powerful track on the EP would have to be the title track, “Pink & Blue”. Being the longest track, coming just short of six minutes, the fluidity of gender is indirectly and directly discussed; the title itself uses the typically gendered colours for girls (pink) and boys (blue), while also used by Edwards to describe their dysphoria (pink) and the toll it took on their mental wellbeing (blue). Partway through, accompanied by a relaxing guitar riff and bell chimes, Edwards performs a semi-spoken word verse. This is where they discuss gender being a spectrum instead of a binary; as they say, “We can be born in pinks and blues / In different shades and hues“. The metaphors are ditched and they talk bluntly on the topic, and the listener can hear the change in their voice when they begin this spoken word piece.
This song comes across more as a poem set to soothing background music, and it creates a scene that feels intimate and personal; and that was most like Edwards’ intentions. Most albums have one heartfelt track that creates this connection between the musical act and the listener, and this is Edwards’.
Another more autobiographical track on the EP is the closing track, “Holy”. Straying away from the topic of gender and Edwards’ journey of transitioning, it instead highlights Edwards’ need for physical intimacy and unlike many sexually-tinged songs in the industry, Edwards does not use all suggestive language in their lyrics. Being candid about wanting to be touched and used, it breaks a barrier that shames trans people for owning their sexuality. Describing the contact as “holy” highlights the fulfillment in Edwards’ sex life, which can be a personal gain for someone who has lived through being shamed and harassed for partaking in any types of relationships.
With a theme of gender, sexuality and self-discovery, ‘Pink + Blue’ is an example of what the trans community needs: an entertaining and valid message of staying strong and true to oneself.
‘Pink + Blue’ is out now via We’re Not Just Cats Records.