Lavender Rodriguez is a British singer and songwriter who grew up in Hampshire and is now currently based in Manchester. Lavender’s released two great singles over the last few years, starting in 2020, and is now back with their latest “Dysphoria” and it marks a big step forward in their discography and sound. Their music has its roots in electronica but adds elements of R&B, hip-hop, and dream pop to the mix. This time around on “Dysphoria”, Lavender does even more and presents us with a new production style by adding electroclash and a punk rock feel.
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Needless to say, it sounds absolutely bonkers in the best possible way. “Dysphoria” takes everything that Lavender’s been building across their live performances and recorded singles and gives it one further spin of greatness – and it works so well. If on previous “Wind Down” and “Apollo“, we got their softer side; on “Dysphoria” we get a taste of their rage.
Over an upbeat electronic base that someone like Charli XCX would die for, Lavender crafts a song that sounds like an intimate journey entry and speaks freely about their gender dysphoria, societal expectations, and personal struggles. Their queerness is at the core of it, front and center. It’s not a song made by or for cis straight people, and Lavender doesn’t care.
When you’re queer, that very simple fact ends up being a big part of your daily life – because no one ever lets you forget it. You just want to be yourself and live your life, but there will always be someone reminding you of your otherness for the good or the bad (usually for the bad) at any given space. “Dysphoria” is the type of statement song that could only come from a place of queerness, and it’s bound to become a hymn for queer people – especially the trans and non-binary youth. Things are tough right now for the trans community, people are losing their rights and there are people who want to harm you just for being you.
And this is when a song like “Dysphoria” comes in to give us a glimmer of hope for a nicer tomorrow. Not only it is beautifully produced, embracing electronics with hints of hyper-pop, hip-hop dynamics, and aggressive percussions; but it also carries an extremely important message of vulnerability. By sharing their personal struggles with gender identity and dysphoria, Lavender sounds more confident than ever before. Their vocals are louder and clearer than previous singles, there is no hint of hiding behind the sound anymore. Lavender Rodriguez came back with a song that feels like a rebirth, and they are here to stay.
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