Feminine Care, by Bay Area multimedia artist Lexagon (AKA Alexa Burrell) on Ratskin Records, is a complex and subtle musical examination of what it meant to be a woman of colour living during the time of the Trump presidency. However, anyone expecting strident political statements will be sorely disappointed, as these songs are more an emotional response than anything else.
Lexagon has created an eclectic mixture of electronic music and field recordings as the background for her vocalizations. For she presents her lyrics not just as singing or spoken word but a wonderful mixture of both. At times she sounds like she’s chanting, creating a spell that brings us deeper into the experience of her music.
While each song features a variety of created and found sounds the undercurrent that runs through all thirteen tracks on the album is Lexagon’s voice. At times reminiscent of the great blues and torch singers of the past with her wonderful resonance and ability to evoke emotional responses she simultaneously communicates complex ideas and thoughts.
Amazingly enough Lexagon is able to do this without any preaching and lecturing. Maybe that’s part of the spell she weaves with her music and voice. She creates an hypnotic atmosphere that eases us into a state where we allow her to communicate with us on an almost subliminal level.
Even those times, maybe especially, when her voice is almost lost amidst the wash of music we end up hearing the lyrics with as much clarity as any other piece. Part of this is because Lexagon’s voice is so intriguing we will put the effort into listening to her no matter what the circumstances, but this is also part of the magic she creates.
From the first moment you start playing Feminine Care you’re drawn into Lexagon’s alternate reality; one which explores how women are, and always have been, treated as something different. From the title of the album, the name some drugstores still use to designate aisles used for products relating to menstrual cycles, to its content she ensures you understand everything from social/economic realities impacting women to the constant fear they have to deal with simply walking down the street at night.
This is the world we’ve created and Feminine Care from Lexagon is a visceral and intelligent response to the indignities women, specifically women of colour, face daily. Considering what’s just happened in Texas this is not only and incredibly moving album, but a timely one as well.