16. Perfect Pussy, “Interference Fits”
When I was first alerted to Syracuse, New York band Perfect Pussy, the music on their self-released demo sounded good enough, taut punk rock with a decent penchant for melody, featuring a frustratingly indecipherable lead singer. It wasn’t until I read Meredith Graves’s lyrics, however, that I realized that this little band is already on the cusp of something awfully significant. She has a way with words like few in punk, indie, or rock music for that matter. The much-hyped debut Say Yes to Love did not disappoint, and its strongest moment was its denouement, the three and a half-minute “Interference Fits”, which sees the band dialing down its attack just enough to let the music breathe, the juxtaposition of melody and tension not unlike Jawbox, Fugazi, and other great DC bands of the early 1990s. But as hooky as the tune is, the kicker is those lyrics. “I never wanted any children / Just a nice apartment with open air / And big windows and all the flowers / And I could only ever see myself there,” she narrates, going on to describe a sort of quarter-life crisis, getting caught up in the fear of the trap of domesticity. The last verse is devastating: “It burns likes a curse and it fits in my hand / A cluster of opals and diamonds and scenes / Pay you a penny and stay where I stand / Trading the diamond for some golden band / God, what am I doing with somebody’s son?” It’s a powerful moment, in which a young woman is desperate to take full command of her life before it’s too late.