Perth’s Auslan-embracing band, Alter Boy, are acting to change music forever
Cementing themselves as an industry-defining powerhouse, Alter Boy is continuing to champion disabled representation within the music industry; this time, through their debut EP, Act of God – extending from their latest single of the same name. Comprising three deaf/hard-of-hearing band members, Alter Boy is staying true to delivering dark, sparkling pop hits all performed in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) alongside breathtaking live performances.
Leading the EP and accompanied by an Auslan music video is Slay King, a dark pop track with gospel influences telling the story of an artist’s life in crisis. Distinctively delivered from the point of view of singer/signer, Molly/Aaron, Slay King reveals the heartache and aftermath of preferring reputation and recognition over family and connection.
“‘All your friends are having babies, you’re doing the same sh*t’ signifies the feeling of being left behind by a generation of friends and acquaintances who are following a more typical trajectory,” said Molly/Aaron, who lives with chronic illness, comorbid mental health, and disability. “The feeling of being left behind is common to queer and disabled people who often enter second adolescence or don’t meet the typical milestones of adulthood.”
Produced by Andrew Wright at Forest Studio, Act of God’s slate extends to Act of God, Die For Me, Follow Along As Best You Can, In Death We Wed, and I Can’t Hear This Note. The varying methods and arrangements of each song reflect the dual identities of its deaf/hard-of-hearing band members, alternating between sound and silence, and combining elements of both.
“Some of the songs exist, while some exist partially, and others not at all; it’s all in an effort to subvert the traditional music experience by flipping the script and alienating the hearing listener,” said Molly/Aaron.
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