Hailing from Seattle, the queer folk band Your Heart Breaks is celebrating its 20th year in 2019 and has a new album, Drone Butch Blues, coming out to mark the occasion. The record's lead single, 'Our Forbidden Country,' is a moving reminder of what has made the project such an important facet of the Pacific Northwest scene for so long.
With an intricate layer of guitar, strings and, as the album's title would suggest, a drone, frontperson Clyde Petersen uses 'Our Forbidden Country' to explore the secret and forbidden love many queer people must engage in. The lyrics, inspired by the writings of Joan Nestle, paint a vivid portrait of going where one must to find time for love and intimacy.
"For the past few years, I have been reading a large selection of books by GLBTQ authors throughout history, trying to learn more about queer culture throughout the ages," says Petersen. "One of my favorite books is called A Restricted Country, by lesbian author Joan Nestle. It’s all about the secret queer nightlife of NYC in the 1950’s and the summers on Fire Island. I wanted to try and capture a little bit of those stories in this video, so we went out to Vashon Island in the Puget Sound of Washington State, with a bunch of rad queer people and we climbed a small mountain to shoot in the forest. We filmed in some glass house sculptures by NY-Based artist Rob Fisher. The film was directed by Seattle filmmaker and recent Creative Capital award winner Wes Hurley, cinematographer Vincent Pierce and costumed by the talented Pete Rush. Working with such a talented crew of queers to make this video was an incredible experience."
The video is a moving accompaniment to a poignant and moving song that does the essential service of archiving, capturing a lived reality so that others can engage with it. The best songwriters can only aspire to create something this important and Petersen does it with captivating power.
Check out the video for 'Our Forbidden Country' up above and be sure to check out Drone Butch Blues when the album drops on April 19 via Sofaburn Records. For readers in the Pacific Northwest, Your Heart Breaks has three shows coming up in April that will be a must-see. Sneak a peek at the dates below.
21 April - The Triple Door (w/Kimya Dawson); Seattle, WA
24 April - Polaris (w/Kimya Dawson); Portland, OR
26 April - Tacoma Art Museum (w/ Lori Goldston); Tacoma, WA
27 April - Octopas (w/Kimya Dawson and Wizard Apprentice); Olympia, WA
28 April - Make Shift (w/Kimya Dawson and Wizard Apprentice); Bellingham, WA