Ron-Adams---Neptune,-2015_1500px.jpg
 

I CAN BUILD A FIRE

The new album - out now

Buy on iTunes (digital)  or  Bandcamp (Limited edition CD)

 

We are AUTOHEART

 

We make music

We are family

We create and evolve and collaborate

We are people

We are more than the sum of our parts

We are us

We are you

We are Autoheart

We can build a fire

 

Vocals / Jody Gadsden
Keyboard, Synth, Sax / Simon Neilson
Bass, Guitar / Barney JC

 

LYRICS

 

OXFORD BLOOD

You, you feel like Oxford blood
A sedative too much
And when the effects of you wear off
I always come for more

I see the wisdom in your years
A melting pot of fear and loathing in suburbia
Take away the sting so we can live within
Our own parameters

We could runaway avoid a collision
Leave us well alone to make our decision
I am here with you beside me
We need a lot of love to combat the evil
Lying in a bathtub hoping for a miracle
Wash the day away and start again

I have furnished all my walls
With money; filled the holes
You, you offer me much more
A love that is insured

I see your sympathetic eyes
The trembling of your sigh
There's only so much we can take
Hand In hand we'll go
And all the while we'll know
A happy ever after

We could runaway avoid a collision
Leave us well alone to make our decision
I am here with you beside me
We need a lot of love to combat the evil
Lying in a bathtub hoping for a miracle
Wash the day away and start again

Last night I dreamt that we were falling apart
So I insisted we begin at the start
To turn us back into a work of art

Last night I dreamt that we were falling apart
So I insisted we begin at the start
To turn us back into a work of art

We could runaway avoid a collision
Leave us well alone to make our decision
I am here with you beside me
We need a lot of love to combat the evil
Lying in a bathtub hoping for a miracle
Wash the day away and start again

 

LOVE IS THE CURE

I'm trapped in a pressure cooker
This claustrophobia
It holds such a grip over me
No more toeing the line

Lying in this hospital room
My mind drifting afar
Tulips on the white windowsill
This feels like au revoir

Crying in the corner
I don't want to feel this way
Crying in the corner
I don't want to feel this way

Love is the cure
Love is the cure
Love is the cure
Hold me...

I need a better resurrection
Something outta sight
If I'm to be sadly departed
It has to be right

Crying in the corner
I don't want to feel this way
Crying in the corner
I don't want to feel this way

Love is the cure
Love is the cure
Love is the cure
Hold me...


Baby, do you remember me?
We met down south back in Tennessee
I was patient and you were nurse
You took a dislike to me, made me worse
And I am here to show to you
The damage to my torso
The scars that you created
On the inside even more so
Baby do you remember me
Or have you erased me from your memory?
 

Possibility

Addiction is friction
In which we connect
The power is ours
With no side effects

Do you want to come with me
To the wide and open sea?
Feel the rushes up and down your spine
Look up to the broken sky
In the stars are you and I
Universally we are aligned

There is a possibility that you and me
Will make it through this evening
Give me something
I need one thing
Everything you are I’m wanting
All I want to do right now
Is die a little in you arms
You can rest upon my shoulder
Though the night until were sober

The sadness I harness
You make me forget
No omen, not no-one
Can tear us apart

Do you want to come with me?
Bold and beautiful we’ll be
See the colours wash away the grey
The love I have is riverwide
You can have it all tonight
All I want is you right by my side

There is a possibility that you and me
Will make it through this evening
Give me something
I need one thing
Everything you are I'm wanting
All I want to do right now
Is die a little in you arms
You can rest upon my shoulder
Though the night until were sober

It pains me to see you
without me, without me
It kills me to see you
without me, without me

There is a possibility that you and me
Will make it through this evening
Give me something
I need one thing
Everything you are I’m wanting
All I want to do right now
Is die a little in you arms
You can rest upon my shoulder
Though the night until were sober

We don’t want to be alone tonight
We don’t want to be alone tonight
Baby, you and me, you and me,
The possibilities are endless
We don’t want to be alone tonight
We don’t want to be alone tonight
Baby, you and me, you and me,
The possibilities are endless...
 

Rip

Try as I may to remain super calm
How can I when you are never here
Deep in your head all the signs of unrest
Is it best that you just disappear?


You were desperate to be adored
Together forever, now you're unsure


I gave you all I ever had and all I wanted back
Was a little love to see me through the night
I understand why I am here and you are other there
The love you had for me has simply died
Rest in peace you and me
Rest in peace, I will set you free


My shattered soul shouldn’t hold on to you
Go on go, find a new puppeteer
Cutting strings, pack your things and leave the key
Drive away, far away, don't you be near

You were hungry for my love
Now I’m no longer enough

I gave you all I ever had and all I wanted back
Was a little love to see me through the night
I understand why I am here and you are other there
The love you had for me has simply died
Rest in peace you and me
Rest in peace, I will set you free
Rest in peace you and me
Rest in peace, I will set you free

When there is nothing left but emptiness and broken words
And the river isn’t flowing anymore
It is time to rip apart the past and start again
Won't make the same mistakes as before

 

sylvia

Sylvia, you’re such a joy to be with
In the sun drinking rum and coca-cola
How we laugh at all the stupid macho men
They all want to be your boyfriend

Here are we go, a team so formidable
They can try to separate us up but they will fail
we are gold and bright and happy in the night
You and I, we're dancing fireworks


All you do is make it up as you go along
And you will find me
All you do is sing along to the happy songs
And you will find me

Look around, the streets are paved in colour
Ear to ear, we're grinning like two cheshire cats
We are one, don't ever disrespect us
Take this song and dance to the beat of the drum


All you do is make it up as you go along
And you will find me
All you do is sing along to the happy songs
And you will find me
You'll find, you'll find, you'll find me
You'll find, you'll find, you'll find me
You'll find, you'll find, you'll find me


We live by the pleasure principle
Take us to the danceteria hall
Blood, sweat, tears baby don't you know
We will always have somewhere to, somewhere to go
At the top of the pyramid
Any baggage you need to get rid
Blood, sweat, tears that is all you need
It's all you need to be free

 

All you do is make it up as you go along
And you will find me
All you do is sing along to the happy songs
And you will find me
All you do is make it up as you go along
And you will find me
All you do is think of me when thing go wrong
And you will find me
You'll find, you'll find, you'll find me
You'll find, you'll find, you'll find me
You'll find, you'll find, you'll find me
 

we can build a fire

In my imagination there is pure elation
I can build a fire, I can build a fire
Do you see the way they’re starting to look at me
I can take them higher, I am not a liar

Send me out an SOS so I can get away
Send me out your very best so I can plan escape

Who in their right mind
Did you think you’d find
Standing behind you
Your guardian angel?
Don’t be ridiculous
Man up, this is it!
We can build a fire
I am not a liar

In my assassination there are constellations
Lighting up the sky above, the night is full of love
I’m on probation to fix a nation
I can build a fire, we can build a fire

Send me out an SOS so I can do my thing
You want to put me in a giant sized boxing ring

Who in their right mind
Did you think you’d find
Standing behind you
Your guardian angel?
Don’t be ridiculous
Man up, this is it!
We can build a fire
I am not a liar
Trapped in a black case
Dignity misplaced
How good is your poke face? 
We’re gonna need it
No more little boy
To survive we destroy
We can build a fire
We can build a fire
Fire, fire…

We can build a fire, we can build a fire
We can build a fire, we can build a fire
I swear I’m not a liar, I swear I’m not a liar
Cos two can take 'em higher, two can take 'em higher


We can build a fire, we can build a fire, we can build a fire...
We can build a fire, we can build a fire, we can build a fire...
We can build a fire, we can build a fire, we can build a fire...
We can build a fire, we can build a fire, we can build a fire...


Who in their right mind
Did you think you’d find
Standing behind you
Your guardian angel?
Don’t be ridiculous
Man up, this is it!
We can build a fire
I am not a liar
Trapped in a black case
Dignity misplaced
How good is your poke face? 
We’re gonna need it
No more little boy
To survive we destroy
We can build a fire
We can build a fire

Fire, fire, fire, fire
Fire, fire, fire, fire

 

before you came

A white light continues
To shine bright within you

If I could, then I would
Do anything to make good

Two black eyes dilated
Ecstatic, elated
Something strange is happening

No longer the lonely
I don’t care if you control me
Such relief in letting go

Did you know before you came
I didn’t have it in me when I needed to be strong
I wasn’t happy in myself to remedy the wrong
On the day before you came
Every view I ever saw was never good enough
There was little in my life that I was proud of

Skyscrapers we walk by
Hold up our hands to the sky
hopeful opportunities

On a rickshaw in soho
Happiness from the get-go
Thinking big and acting small

A big storm is brewing
But we’ll be pursuing
Whatever keeps us alive

It don’t hurt in my head
No more shakes, no more dread
I can count on you


Did you know before you came
I didn’t have it in me when I needed to be strong
I wasn’t happy in myself to remedy the wrong
On the day before you came
Every view I ever saw was never good enough
There was little in my life that I was proud of
Did you know before you came
I was selfish, I was horrible most of the time
Always thinking of myself ignoring all the signs
On the day before you came
my priorities were muddled and I didn't care, I didn't care


I feel as if I've run a million miles
A million miles and I finally found
I feel as if I've run a million miles
A million miles and I finally found you
I feel as if I've run a million miles
A million miles and I finally found you
I feel as if I've run a million miles
A million miles and I finally found you

Did you know before you came
I didn’t have it in me when I needed to be strong
I wasn’t happy in myself to remedy the wrong
On the day before you came
Every view I ever saw was never good enough
There was little in my life that i was proud of
Before you came, before you came
A million miles and I finally, A million miles and I finally...
Before you came, before you came
A million miles and I finally, A million miles and I finally found you

 

murky waters


Was looking for a new release
A pocketful of serotonin
It had me right down on my knees
A rush of blood, it kept me going on
A little piece of heaven found
It only lasted for a little while
And then it all came crashing down

It's not the way I planned it
Don't you misunderstand it
I'll be running, I'll be running into murky waters
Your reputation's well known
I should have left you alone
I'll be running, I'll be running into murky waters

The day restricted and controlled
The night become my everything
The silhouettes came manifold
The stars above would dance and sing
A fever burning bright and strong
In the middle of it all how I ended up in Montreal, 
I'll never know but I can't let go

It's not the way I planned it
Don't you misunderstand it
I'll be running, I'll be running into murky waters
Your reputation's well known
I should have left you alone
I'll be running, I'll be running into murky waters
It's not the way I planned it
Please don't leave me here stranded


I'll be running...


It's not the way I planned it
Don't you misunderstand it
I'll be running, I'll be running into murky waters
Your reputation's well known
I should have left you alone
I'll be running, I'll be running into murky waters
It's not the way I planned it
Please don't leave me here stranded
 

my hallelujah

You always disappoint me
You do it all the time
Can't you see from my face
I'm the bluest blue you'll ever see

It's never been my full intention
To have you round 24/7
But for once could you pretty please
Not run out on me

I don't know what you're hunting
It's not me it's something else
And I can't deny
That I am hurting
I know it's never-ever
With us we're not forever
You won't be for me
My hallelujah

In the middle of the night did you think I'd be alone
Waiting patiently for you to come home?
I'm not the waiting kind, you can't ruin my mind
I'll find somebody else to call mine

Can't emphasise enough how hard it’s been
To know the one you love resents you
It’s a sad sorry state of affairs we got going on


The way we work is masochistic
And all I want to do is fix it
This kind of love never lasts, if it does it will kill you.

Thought I’d found a new religion
In you, who was I kidding?
There’s nowhere to go
Except for under
Quarantine all of my spite
It hurts too much to fight
You’ll never be for me
My hallelujah

In the middle of the night did you think I'd be alone
Waiting patiently for you to come home?
I'm not the waiting kind, you can't ruin my mind
I'll find somebody else to call mine
In the middle of the night did you think I'd be alone
Waiting patiently for you to come home?
I'm not the waiting kind, you can't ruin my mind
I'll find somebody else to call mine

You raise me up, you bring me down
You throw my body to the ground
You stampede over me so freely
And in the triumphs of a day
Where I think everything’s ok
You look at me so insincerely
And in the mirror staring back at me, stupidty
I've always been a sucker for your cruelty
I've had a word with myself
And for the sake of my health
I'll no longer mend the unfixable


In the middle of the night did you think I'd be alone
Waiting patiently for you to come home?
I'm not the waiting kind, you can't ruin my mind
I'll find somebody else to call mine
In the middle of the night did you think I'd be alone
Waiting patiently for you to come home?
I'm not the waiting kind, you can't ruin my mind
I'll find somebody else to call mine
to call mine, to call mine, to call mine
 

joseph

Joseph was talking, grooming a rumour
He said: "Somebody drowned the other day..."
That somebody was me, but I never drowned
I just simply slipped away

So if you need me I’m sorry
Cos I’m not around anymore
I’ll never tell you what I’m thinking
You don’t deserve to know

You came through stumbling hard, I knew
Mumbling words untrue only to undo
All the good I had achieved you would
Stampede all over it because you could

Joseph had captured a bird without wings
Writing in gold making shapes in the fire
His anger met silence; a death in the woods
My freedom was mine again, mine again, all mine

You won’t find me crying
So don’t you feel sorry for me
All that I have is in my head
And all that you took you can have

You came through stumbling hard, I knew
Mumbling words untrue only to undo
All the good I had achieved you would
Stampede all over it because you could
You came through stumbling hard, I knew
Mumbling words untrue only to undo
All the good I had achieved you would
Stampede all over it because you could

You don’t heal me...
Like you used to
You don't heal me
Like you used to


You don't heal me no more
You don't heal me no more
You don't heal me no more
You don't heal me
Like you used to
You don't heal me


You don't heal me like you used to
You dont heal me no more
I don't need you like I used to
You can't cure me like before

 

'Strange and gorgeous' - The Telegraph

'This band is doing it right' - Buzzfeed

'Heaven' - The Guardian

 

Albums

 

 
  • I Can Build A Fire - (26 August 2016 - O/R Records) - Purchase on iTunes, CD available on Bandcamp
  • DEMOS - (30 May 2014 - O/R Records) - Bandcamp only release, purchase here
  • Punched - (28 April 2014 - O/R Records) - Bandcamp only release, purchase here
  • Punch (15 July 2013 - O/R Records) - Purcahse on iTunes, CD available on Bandcamp

SINGLES

 

  • Oxford Blood  - (19 August 2016 - O/R Records) - Purchase on iTunes.
  • Possibility - (22 July 2016 - O/R Records) - Purcahse on iTunes
  • Beat The Love - (14 February 2014 - O/R Records) - Purchase on iTunes
  • Moscow/Agoraphobia - (8 July 2013 - O/R Records) - Purchase on iTunes
  • Lent - (11 February 2013 - O/R Records) - Purchase on iTunes
  • Lent remixes - (11 February 2013 - O/R Records) - Purchase on iTunes
  • Control - (5 November 2012 - O/R Records) - Purchase on iTunes
  • The Sailor Song - (30 November 2009 – SBW Music) - Purchase on iTunes

 

 

blogARAMA

WE ARE LISA WELLARD

by Jody Gadsden

Rachel and Lisa, circa 1996: Havering Sixth Form College, Upminster

Rachel and Lisa, circa 1996: Havering Sixth Form College, Upminster

I’m not much of an extrovert. In fact I’d go as far to say I dislike being the center of attention - a bit odd for a singer in a band, I know. 

I don’t much like having my photo taken. There’s something a bit cringe-worthy about band photoshoots: standing about, pretending to be a model. 

On the other hand, we’ve been lucky enough to have worked with many inspiring, talented (and patient) photographers over the years who have made the whole process fun and, somehow, made us look alright too. 

The person who has taken our picture the most is Lisa Wellard.  I've have been friends with Lisa since we met aged 17 at Havering Sixth Form College in Essex - that's her in the picture above, with my best mate Rachel.  

A group of us would hop on the 25 bus from Romford to London and go to Popstarz at The Scala - and that’s when I first started writing music.  

Popstarz in 2000: Rachel, me, Lisa and Daniel 

Popstarz in 2000: Rachel, me, Lisa and Daniel 

Lisa and Rachel were into dressing like mod girls at the time (it wasn’t the 60s, I’m not that old - there was a revival in the late 90s).  When they turned up at my house dressed to the nines, they made my mum cry because they both reminded her of her youth - nostalgia, nostalgia...
 
Lisa has pretty much photographed Autoheart from the very beginning, in 2007 when it was just Simon and me and we were called The Gadsdens right through to this years pictures which we shot in my mum’s back garden.  The thing I love about Lisa is that she makes us all feel so comfortable.  There’s no script, no styling, it’s as much directed by us all on the day and she manages to get the most natural shots. Nothing feels posed or awkward with Lisa. 

Michael Hutchence eat your heart out. 

Michael Hutchence eat your heart out. 

The first shoot we did, above, was taken in Hackney Wick where I lived at the time. I was very slight back then and had rather long, rusty-coloured locks - I can assure you that although my barnet looked good in this picture, day to day it was an absolute mess and the bane of my existence often covered with a hat or worse still, a bandana. 
Simon is still able to master that blue steel, look-to-the-side, chinny glance and often pops it out nowadays at photoshoots. 
This was our first experience working with Lisa - we were a bit wooden but she managed to get some great shots out of us, one thing she complained about was that we both blinked incessantly, something I still do rather a lot even today. 

Sunday roast anyone?

Sunday roast anyone?

I think this was early 2008 and the band now included Barney and David. It was perhaps the best photoshoot ever because Rachel - who I lived with then - rustled up a full roast dinner. 
We posed for about 15 minutes and then ate it all and got sloshed on wine. 
This was a pretty elaborate and staged set of pictures but Lisa made it work with her usual unplanned and natural style. 

Before Punch was released we had been joined by bassist Jihea Oh and we went with Lisa to Abney Park, the spooky old cemetary in Stoke Newington - after raiding Rachel’s dressing up box. I think we were thinking we’d look a bit Fleetwood Mac-eccentric. Don’t know if we pulled that off but I still like the shots. 

They don't call him Simon 'Legs' Neilson for nothing...

They don't call him Simon 'Legs' Neilson for nothing...

We were shot twice by Lisa before I Can Build A Fire came out - David, our drummer, finally decided trawling round with us was a bit distracting from bringing up his daughter (sensible man), and Jihea had gone on to tour the world with various bands. 

The black and white pictures were taken in my old flat - it took about half an hour and it really did just feel like we were spending a lazy Saturday afternoon catching up with a mate. I think the pictures look like that.

Five become three...

Five become three...

For recent the garden pics, we bought a bunch of stupid shirts from Asos (and sent them all back) - a leopard print number I wore divided opinion.
It was grey and almost raining the whole afternoon (not cold), but for a few seconds the sun popped out and hit us right in the face as we were sitting on this funny wooden bench that my Mum has, and Lisa took a shot. 
The reason we all look so quizzical is because none of us can actually see, because of the light.
Anyway, it was totally unplanned, a bit Abba-ish (Simon’s power hand) and I love it. 
Afterwards, we had rows because Barney thinks he looks like he’s doing ‘blue steel’ but we wore him down eventually. If you look closely, there’s a tear in his eye... 

 

WE ARE Anne haight

                                                        by Simon

Anyone who has heard our recent single 'Oxford Blood' will have now heard the instantly appealing tones of Anne Haight, a supremely gifted German-born solo artist based in Berlin who we were lucky enough to have feature on our second album.

We first met Anne when we were invited to a song writing boot camp in Berlin and were subsequently paired to co-write one song in one day. As the outsiders of the group, we were put together and given a studio room where we proceeded to play each other our best tracks - Anne's was an instantly impressive heart-tearing ballad called 'Mirror', ours was our debut single ‘The Sailor Song'. We decided on writing a song based on an idea that Anne had roughly sketched a few lyrics for; a quixotic love song framed around a Nintendo/Gameboy type set-up. The finished song titled 'Love Game' went on to be the lead single from her debut album 'In The Darkness', released earlier this year and just like us she released the album on her own record label confidently striding among a new wave of DIY artists.

Simon, Jody & Anne on the far right looking apprehensive...

Simon, Jody & Anne on the far right looking apprehensive...

Aside from our writing, we have built a chance musical bond through the teaming of Jody's vocal against Anne's. To us, they complement each other just like Johnny & June. Anne has a unique quality to her voice that strikes a familiar tone against an influx of Nordic singers to reach the mainstream (although she is German), yet she gives something completely fresh and distinctive that sets her aside. She is confidently fragile in her delivery, whether live or recorded she is faultless. When I pressed her for music she feels has influenced her vocal style and production she responded that she always comes back to four main artists; Feist, Kate Bush, Bat for Lashes and Beach House. That latter of which I feel draws the most "dream-pop" comparisons when listening to her debut album

On a follow up trip to Berlin we met up to continue writing and whilst there I had asked Anne if she would kindly lend her vocals to our album. The idea was to create a sound that had multi-layered backing vocals, evoking a hybrid sound somewhere between ABBA and Fleetwood Mac. After layering up 'Oxford Blood' and 'We Can Build A Fire' we decided to switch things up and try Anne out on 'Joseph'. We tried lots of variations, eventually removing parts of Jody's vocal to feature Anne as an equally weighted partner on the song. It's a magical moment on the album as it feels like they are completely connected by the title character.

With her album only recently released she has a planned remix album in the works as well as acoustic versions of the debut tracks. Anne said "I got really excited about all the opportunities in the studio whilst I was working on "In the Darkness“, now I feel like I really want to record the very first guitar or piano versions of those songs - to have the timeless version, or a version without any make up or accessories." Anne is also busy writing new material for her next album, early listens giving hints of country and is reminiscent of the recent Case/Lang/Viers album.

She is fortunate to live in a country where the government provides bursaries to live and work freely on creative projects, a national drive which actively supports creativity and economic growth through grant funding distributed across Germany. It means she gets to travel, spend time working with producers and artists and embrace the idea that collaboration can produce some of the best results. Anne added "I hope I can collaborate with other artists more in the future as it’s always so nice to be part of a great musical project. It is really wonderful to be part of Autoheart's new album”.

We of course plan on continuing our writing relationship together and also involve her in our live performances that are currently planned for early next year.

 

WE ARE RAIN DOVE

 by Barney JC

Rain Dove 

Rain Dove 

I am a little bit in love with Rain Dove, who stars in our video for Oxford Blood.

I don’t think you can spend any time with her and not be.

Yeah, she’s political. She has a point to make. She can look tough and she can look soulful. There is something of the Warhol superstar about her.

But she’s also funny as hell.

It might be her video - now viewed more than 3.2million times - in protest at the LGBT-phobic Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. She is powerfully passionate in her campaign for change. But she does it with a that deadliest of weapons: a heavy dose of humour that only goes to show up how misplaced fear and outrage about 'difference' is.

And, as I said, she's playful rather than deadly earnest (despite being completely serious about her mission). Lots of her fans believe Jody’s vocal, which she lip-syncs to in Oxford Blood, is actually her voice. Rain loves this, and we do too. 

She says: “People often say I look like a guy, but the thing that gives me away is my voice. So I liked being able to have this deep voice. There was the opportunity to make people go: ‘What the fuck is that?’ That always turns me on a little bit.”

Rain's story is pretty well known now so I won't go over it - there are some great articles here and here.

There was however an interview she did the other day, in which she summed up her philosophy beautifully: ‘Gender is a state of mind.’ I just thought: Yes!

This isn't about 'neutralising' anyone's gender: It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with a girl wanting to be a princess in a tutu, or a boy wanting to be a the knight in shining armour.

But, and I’m speaking from experience here, if you’re a boy who feels more like the princess, and wants to wear a tutu, there are some pretty heavy societal pressures for you to not do that. And we should question that. 

As a queer person, I personally have never felt particularly ‘of’ a gender.

I’ve spent time worrying that others might not see me as ‘manly enough’ or ‘effeminate’. It’s a fairly common if not ubiquitous experience. 

I’m probably more likely to say ‘fuck it’ these days, or not really think about that kind of thing at all. 

But there are times I’m reminded: I might hear my voice in a recording and think I sound, well, gay. Is it ‘girly’? Something else? I’m not sure.

But there is that discomfort, that somehow we are exposed just by a physical fact of our being that we have no control over. I suppose that comes from a fear that something bad might happen to us if we are 'found out'. 

Or conversely someone might say (is this supposed to be a compliment? Just an observation? I’m never sure...) ‘I didn’t realise you were gay.’

But as I say, these things matter less to me now either way than they did when I was younger.

And besides, femininity or masculinity for that matter isn't something anyone should be ashamed of. As Rain would say, we are all human.

More Rain...

More Rain...

My closest and most comfortable relationships are and always have been with women.

When I was very little the main motivation I can remember was that girls had the best toys.

But I also recall telling anyone that would listen that there had been ‘a mistake at birth’ and that I wasn’t really a boy.

When I first went to primary school, I went in a dress because I often wore one and, I expect, I thought I looked like hot stuff.

My mother calls it my ‘transvestite years’ but it wasn’t about dressing up (although there was a LOT of dressing up).

I felt a sort of grief when I realised I would never be a pretty girl, no matter how much of Mum’s make-up I put on.

Later, I discovered that to get on, even if I wasn’t like other the boys I had to at least look like one.

I’m not saying I’ve had poor male role models – that isn’t true.

But throughout my life it has been women, many of them gay women, who have been my best mates, mentored me and become my role models.

And while I don’t feel any more that I am actually a girl, I also don’t value ‘manliness’ as something I necessarily need to aspire to either.

Call me what you like (just preferably not a total wanker).

I’m not saying Rain is totally responsible for an epiphany but her thought provoking work has helped me make sense of this. I think perhaps that is the reason she resonates so much with so many people.

She is also part of a bigger movement to highlight that gender is a rainbow, rather than just black or white.

Rain’s point of view and strength comes from her triumph over adversity: people around her when she was growing up not accepting that she looked like a girl should look like. But what the hell is that?

Rain's Victoria's Secret campaign

Rain's Victoria's Secret campaign

In her own words: “If I took away your arms, your genitals, your eyes and ears, you would still be you. You are something bigger. The body is just a vessel. I love having tits, and I love my vagina, but it’s not like I chose this whole thing. It just happened.”

Of course there are people who don’t get it and argue against it. Whether they feel threatened or called out, I don’t know. I suppose that no one likes to be told a long held idea is not really the whole truth.

The fact is, the majority of people do strongly identify as the gender they were assigned at birth. And that is cool, great even.

But there are those of us who exist elsewhere on a spectrum.

WE ARE RON ADAMS

Jody's next career on QVC beckons

Jody's next career on QVC beckons

THE cover of our album ‘I Can Build A Fire’ is a painting called Neptune by Australian artist Ron Adams, who makes the most incredible retro-futuristic psychedelic paintings and sculptures. Here is Jody with the painting, which - and this shows what an amazing guy he is - Ron gave to us. We love it, obviously. Here's the man himself...

We discovered each other totally by chance via Instagram in December last year – he liked a couple of our pictures and we instantly connected with his work.  
We knew we wanted the visuals for ‘I Can Build A Fire’  to be colourful and bold and a nod to one of the major influences on the sound of the album, Abba. 
His paintings seemed to have been made for us, and Neptune even has an A for Autoheart in it. 
Ron’s work is heavily influenced by the music he’s into – Slade, T Rex, The Smiths, Brian Eno and Philip Glass are just a few he mentions – and they all seem to look like incredible album covers. 
Some of them feature song lyrics – like the (incredible) installation Five Choices of Death:

In it, the coloured targets each represent countries where it is illegal to be gay. 
Ron said to me: ‘In some of the countries, being gay is punishable by death and you get given choices of how you want to be executed, which is what the title refers to. It was part of a bigger exhibition about “difference”. The choice of the Smiths lyric really summed up how despite being gay, and being seen as different, I just feel like a regular guy like anyone else.’

One our favourites it a piece called H.O.L.L.A.N.D. It’s the cover to our single Oxford Blood:

The red writing says ‘Hope our love lasts and never dies’. We didn’t know the meaning behind the painting until after we’d chosen it for the cover, and I was totally blown away when he told me: ‘Me and my partner, George have known each other since we were 10. We are both in our 50s now. A few years ago, he gave me a ring, and on the inside the inscription was H.O.L.L.A.N.D. Hope our love lasts and never dies.’ 

It’s sort of spooky that despite him being the other side of the world – and the fact we have never met – his pictures and our music feel like they’re made for each other. It makes you believe in fate!

Ron Adams is represented by Galerie Pom Pom 

Ron Adams is represented by Galerie Pom Pom 

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