Republican National Convention, Jawbreaker Reunion’s digital split EP with PWR BTTM features a spot-on cover of the Magnetic Fields’ “Andrew In Drag”. In the original song, Magnetic Fields frontman Steven Merrit pines for an elusive cross-dresser affectionately dubbed Andrew in drag. Merrit has long been an LGBT advocate in contemporary music with a twenty-year vault of gender-bending love songs. His preference for neutral pronouns and open concern for maintaining a balance of sexual identities within the band have made Merrit a cult hero in certain underground queer communities. The fact that Jawbreaker Reunion, a queer-core band from the upstate New York, would choose to cover such an esoteric song speaks directly to Merrit’s clever and subtly political lyricism. The cover from Jawbreaker Reunion remains true to the source while incorporating worthy nuances that push the song even deeper into the context of gender theory. For a female vocalist to take the lead on a song that already subverts hetero-normality by addressing one man’s attraction for another man in drag only blurs the gender binary into obscurity, which is, ultimately, the point.
You can stream Jawbreaker Reunion’s version of “Andrew In Drag” below. Republican National Convention is available on both band’s bandcamp page.