The Strange Year

by Camboys

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1.
03:14
2.
02:25
3.
02:50
4.
02:21
5.

credits

released June 5, 2016

music by jack william
tracks 1-4 mixed by jack william
track 5 mixed by chris wood

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about

Camboys Leeds, UK

camboys is jack william / infogrrrrl queer pop music based in leeds.
also in camp shy and cat apostrophe

also does queerpop leeds

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Track Name: Punish Me
This is a song about toxic cliques within the punk scene. It's about standing up for yourself and not betraying your politics in favour of popularity contests. Stand by survivors, stick up for each other but do not defend someone that's done something shitty and refuses to be held accountable just because they're your friend. It's behaviour like that that reinforces rape culture, heteronormativity, white supremacy, ableism, body shaming and patriarchy within the scene. Are we actually punk or are we playing at being punk? What does punk even mean to us? Is it anti-authoritarian and critical or is it defined by saying the right words, wearing the right clothes and sheltering abusers?

Am I punk yet?
Am I punk enough?
Am I punk yet?
Am I punk enough?

Punish me for my sins
Punish me for staying in
Punish me for my sins
Punish me, break me in

Keep it in the family
Don't let anyone know
Keep it in the family
Don't let anyone go
Track Name: Guts
trigger warning/content note: rape

This song began as a summary of one of the relationships that I'm in, and got dark very quickly (with the line "everything hurts all of the time"). I realised while playing this live with End Men that this song is about navigating being a rape survivor while continuing to have sexual relationships with men. I have been sexually assaulted and abused by men throughout my life. None of these men have been held accountable for their actions. This being my background, I find it incredibly difficult to have sex. My mind is racing constantly, and I try my hardest to keep smiling and enjoy myself, but any suggestion of desire from them grates at me until I become this machine who can only think about the desires of another. Taking citalopram has made it difficult for me to feel as much sexual pleasure as I used to, and this impacts the sex I have: the men I'm having sex with are always hornier than I am. I struggle with this because I often have to say no, I often have to tone down the situation, and I am terrified of saying no. I've said no and not been listened to. I've said no and been told off. I've said no and the other person has said "okay" with a look of disappointment on their face. I've said no and the other person has said "okay" and meant it, but I still feel incredible guilt that I can't escape from. I've spoken about these issues to all of my current partners, I almost feel like I couldn't have any sort of relationship where these things weren't talked about openly from the beginning. But I feel like I have lost sex. It doesn't feel safe for me at all any more.

Under my skin it's all blood and guts and muscles and bones
You don't like to think about that
It makes you sick

Instead you have an army of tiny people inside pulling all the levers
And pushing all the switches
It's what makes you tick

Everything hurts all of the time
Everything hurts all of the time
Everything hurts all of the time
It makes me sick

See above for my list of complaints
Swap my eyes for your demeanor
Red sockets traded for clarity and calm
See below I'm down here on the floor

Under this dark sky we're all falling down forever
You don't like to think about that
It makes you sick

In the morning we have oats and milk if we're lucky we'll be smiling
Not crying no never crying
It's what makes you tick

Everything hurts all of the time
Everything hurts all of the time

See above for my list of complaints
Swap my eyes for your demeanor
Red sockets traded for clarity and calm
See below I'm down here on the floor

Everything hurts all of the time
Everything hurts all of the time
Everything hurts all of the time
It makes me sick

See above for my list of complaints
Swap my eyes for your demeanor
Red sockets traded for clarity and calm
See below I'm down here on the floor
Track Name: 9:22
The longest relationship I've been in was wracked with lies, anxiety, passive-aggressiveness and bullying. I've accepted the blame for all the problems in the relationship because it is easier than facing the anger of the other person. This song is about my anger towards that person. I really struggle to express anger, and have been trying to work on that a lot more over the last year. There is a "Johnstone temper" in my family, and I think I suppressed those feelings in line with that longing every queer kid feels to be taken away from their family in their youth. Those thoughts that this family definitely isn't mine: not because they are awful, but because there is no way I can be related to these people; they're so different to me. The relationships I've been in that reproduced family dynamics for me have been the most toxic, and of course they were going to be toxic. Here: am I blaming myself too much? Probably. What else am I allowed to do?

I wish I could do what he does
Impale myself and lay myself bare
It was my fault, it was my fault
Nothing needed, nothing gained

But then that reckless, am I that reckless
Or selfish, am I that selfish
Deadbeat frenetic energy
Built up on the cold bike home from yours

To lay myself bare
For your benefit
I won't just do what you want
I've gotta show my feelings are worthy of thought

I have enough self worth
To realise
My apology means nothing to you
Just the pain I display

But then that reckless, am I that reckless
Or selfish, am I that selfish
Dead beat frenetic energy
Built up on the cold bike home from yours

To lay myself bare
For your benefit
I won't just do what you want
I've gotta show my feelings are worthy of thought

Your tears fall upwards
Mine fall down into my lap
We listen to R.E.M. "Life and how to live it" and avoid eye contact
You don't say a word, me neither
Because there's nothing left to say
There's nothing left for us at all better go your own way

I wish I could do what he does
Impale myself and lay myself bare
Say "it was my fault, it was my fault"
A peacock with feathers of blood

But then that reckless, am I that reckless
Or selfish, am I that selfish
Dead beat / frenetic energy
Built up on the cold bike home

To lay myself bare
For your benefit
At nine twenty two
I always lied to you
Track Name: Wayna
Wayna is the lead character in Deep End by Nisi Shawl, a transplanted personality hoping with all her strength that she will be reunited with her lover once the body she's been managing is settled on a planetary colony. This song is about feeling like you can't achieve what your body should because your mind is damaged and you've been crushed by insults and jibes from others. It's about having no strength and feeling powerless. It's about wanting to be saved from a state of emotional and mental destitution by a man. Wayna is a strong woman who comes to the conclusion that she doesn't need her male lover. I wish I could be as strong as Wayna.

Cheat and lie, I'll stay with this cheat and lie routine
Til I meet a nice boy
Who won't mind my dirty soul

While I grow cold
Nursing a lie of my own
There goes my mind
Staring at your diary there on the bed

While I grow cold
Nursing a lie of my own
There goes everything, you know
You could have it so much better

Cheat and lie, I've got this cheat and lie thing going
Til I meet a nice boy
Who won't mind my dirty soul

Keeping you with me
Was ever so easy
Keeping you happy, well
Words I couldn't hear

There's a possibility
In the sky
Some words
Outline our future
Together or apart
There's a chance
Everything will be fine

Could you just fly away today?
Reach up, grab those words
There's a chance
Everything will be fine

While I grow cold
Nursing a lie of my own
I couldn't stop myself
With your diary there on the bed

Cheat and lie
I've got this cheat and lie thing going
Til I meet a nice boy
Who won't mind my dirty soul
Track Name: The Strange Year
This song is about Francis, a character I reference in almost all of the work I've produced. He was a man who held a great deal of power over me for about a year of my life. I've been told by others that he treated me very badly, but his power still has a hold over me and I can only see him with a sheen - still perfect, still beautiful, warm, kind, emotional, sensitive, caring, generous. I'm singing to myself in this song. I'm singing to the self that still loves Francis. I want to hold onto the knowledge that in his leaving I was freed.

You're the exception that tests the rule
My cold heart's put up those walls
My slut heart breaks a tunnel through

You know you can believe yourself
You know that what you think is true
But there's this pain and fear inside
Cold in a place deep within you

This is a good year for vampires
This is a good year for never learning any lessons
This is a good year for carbohydrates
You will learn that happiness is a missed call