Peaches talks new single ‘Pussy Mask’, women’s rights and ‘WAP’

Peaches is back with new single ‘Pussy Mask’ – a track which she describes as bringing a little light to the current pandemic.

The song – which you can listen to below – provides a funny and transgressive take on the COVID situation, mixing imagery of body fluids with the fear of droplet transmission.

The Canadian art-punk provocateur raps: “My pussy wear a mask/My pussy don’t play/My pussy wear a mask/Take cover from the sprayPussy wear a mask in public/Squirt so wet I got to double it”.

From her home, locked-down in Berlin, Peaches told NME how the timely track came about when she was in the midst of writing her seventh studio album, the follow-up to 2015’s ‘Rub’.

“I was working on the new album when I came up with a line like ‘My pussy squirts so hard, I have to wear two masks’ or something and I thought: that needs to be a song right now, because I’m going to shine a light on a lot of concerns but also have a good laugh,” she told NME. “I wanted to enjoy myself, make people happy and offer a snapshot of what’s happening now.”

 

‘Pussy Mask’ – Peaches’ first release since 2020’s anti-establishment anthem ‘Flip This’ – was written around the time of January’s Capitol Hill insurrection by supporters of Donald Trump in the waning days of his presidency – with the riot name-checked in the lyrics along with news figures such as top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, leftwing Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the late supreme court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last year.

“The handling of the pandemic, the insurrection and the senate vote [on controversial supreme court nominee Amy Cohen Barrett] were all on my mind, as well as the re-emergence of abortion laws and all of this stuff,” Peaches told NME. “I’m trying to bring it in. It’s not an escapism song, but it’s definitely a look and a laugh at ourselves because we’re in a really uncomfortable situation.

Animated versions of an air-guitaring Cortez, a devil-fist raising Fauci and Ginsburg, with halo and angel wings, all appear in the song’s surreal and humorous accompanying Leah Shore-directed video, featuring a cartoon mask-clad vagina.

 “I was asked by Jash TV years ago to tell a story and Leah Shore animated it and it was so funny and enhanced everything. When this track was done, I wanted her to work her magic and I knew she’d relate to the lyrics and everything was so on point – right down to the little boob mask on my face when I’m bed with the pussy to the ‘Listen to Fauci’ t-shirt,” said Peaches.

Peaches Pussy Mask

Since the start of her career, Peaches’ work has mixed sexuality and humour to highlight political issues. Now, she has said that she hopes ‘Pussy Mask’ can provide some absurdist fun to listeners in torrid times. “I want people not to feel alone and stressed,” she said. “Yes, it’s uncomfortable things we’re going through but hopefully we can get a little release, get our COVID frustrations out, and have a laugh – not at the expense of it, but with it.”

As for what direction her forthcoming album – which she is set to resume work on in May – is heading in, Peaches kept her cards close to her chest. “There’s a lot of different sounds and experimentation and I’m just trying to go for it in that way,” she said. “You won’t hear it for a while yet. It was just I came up with this song and thought it needs to happen now because it makes sense.”

Peaches – Credit: Jennifer Endom

Last year, Peaches appeared on Amanda Shires’ cover of ‘Our Problem’ alongside a star-studded cast including Cyndi Lauper and Linda Perry, to celebrate the 48th anniversary of  the 1973 supreme court decision of Roe v Wade which made abortion legal in the US. The landmark ruling is lyrically referenced in ‘Pussy Mask’ (“Roe v Wade no objection”), with Peaches arguing that women’s rights are once again in peril due to With dozens of anti-abortion bills introduced in the US this year and Poland imposing a near-ban on abortion last year.

“It’s such a backwards step,” she said. “Women’s rights and trans rights now in America are under threat and I find it backwards and polarising and the opposite of how we’re supposed to move forwards – especially during the pandemic when we could collectively come together and maybe actually for once see each other or understand each other and our connection to each other, and yet we choose to be polarising.”

Peaches argued that the election of Joe Biden to 47th president is not an excuse to get complacent. “It’s nice to not hear Trump’s name in the news every five minutes. It’s a nice settling down, but we can’t sleep on it. Everyone’s got to keep awake and on their toes.”

In 2020, her landmark breakout album ‘The Teaches of Peaches’ celebrated its 20th anniversary. The record’s explicit embracing of sexuality led the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to recently hail her as “the spiritual Godmother” of  Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s blockbuster ‘WAP’.

“I don’t think I have anything to do with that, if people are trying to make a connection, but I love it and I’m just really excited that came out and I love to listen to it,” Peaches replied. “It warms my heart, and it also makes me feel somewhat validated for what I do and to know that people are still pushing boundaries and feeling good about who they are.”

The ‘Pussy Mask’ standard black vinyl and picture disc will be released on June 25. Stay tuned for an upcoming Peaches-starring edition of our longstanding weekly Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?! feature where she’s quizzed on her eventful life.




NME

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