By Syd Miller, Associate Editor
Adeem the Artist is many things: a seventh-generation Carolinian, a makeshift poet, singer-songwriter, storyteller, and blue-collar Artist. (They are also a beloved Country Queer staff member). But most of all, they are 100% themselves.
Every song on this album oozes individuality and pure, unadulterated Adeem. From the joyous spoken-word title track to the meditative “Apartment”, Cast Iron Pansexual is a bracing, hilarious and genuine album that strikes at the heart of what a country record should be.
The banjo and guitar are a crisp and clear background to Adeem’s soul-searching lyrics on each track. The complexity of issues like gender are simplified down to Adeem’s feelings, accompanied only by the acoustic guitar.
Adeem runs around the idea of declaring a gender or sexuality in “I Never Came Out” and “Fervent For The Hunger”. They are a “complicated dame” and they’ve “Found sexuality isn’t just who you kiss / It’s part of your unique identity.”
There’s something beautifully refreshing about hearing someone croon about “boys in tight blue jeans” and the way they “let misogyny suppress all of the feminine inside of them” in a southern accent alongside a jaunty acoustic outlaw riff.
It sends the message that it’s okay to be yourself. Even if all your identities may not seem to go together. Adeem embraces the fluidity of their identity as an identity in and of itself.
“Written as therapy to fully engage the trauma-by-proxy of cultural archetypes and structures of oppression, the album is an island neighboring a Global Pandemic,” Adeem the Artist says. “It is an effort to take control over the things one is capable of managing — of beginning the inner work we all must undertake to solve the greater problems plaguing our planet.”
“It is thirty minutes worth of contemplative self-reflection on Gender, Sexuality, Religion, and Politics with the occasional bit of whimsy; a lighthearted dialogue on identity and ego as it relates with the culture at large.”Adeem the Artist
There are only a few instruments throughout the album, but Adeem knows how to play them all. The instrumental backing floats perfectly alongside their gentle vocals, but plucks up and can lay down a mean banjo riff if need be.
The final song “Reclaim My Name” is the longest on the album and for good reason: it’s a thoughtful and sincere look back on growing up queer. They communicate the universal feelings that many queer kids feel about their past while still bringing their own personal anecdotes and sorrow to the song.
If you’re a fan of country music, being true to yourself or hearing people be true to themselves, Cast Iron Pansexual isn’t an album you can afford to miss.
Cast Iron Pansexual is available for pre-order here.