Music can be so many things to so many people, but on Lexagon’s new masterpiece, Feminine Care, it’s a reflection and dissertation about survival. This album is a dense, sprawling opus about the experience of black femininity in the context of all that fell apart from 2016 – 2020. Saturated with this haunted, vast, and determined spirit, Feminine Care lands every sonic punch square in the chest. Lexagon’s varied approach overwhelms the senses, raking already-raw emotions over coals to harden the skin.
Lexagon’s expression of her experience builds new spaces. Carrying the weight of an ocean of tears, her voice soars and breaks simultaneously on the mournful “Kiev.” It’s a world underwater, where the most vulnerable continue to be crushed under the guise of unity. Within the chord swells and vocal cries is vigilance for all the bodies crushed in the name of progress. Her music is imbued with this uncertainty.
Musically, I am continually struck by the wide variety throughout Feminine Care. Lexagon is a shapeshifter, moving from catchy, pop-infused romps like “Settle,” dark raptures on the hypnotic “Values,” and stripped back contemplations like “When the Tide is Low.” This ability to move between modes gives Lexagon that much more power. Keeping listeners guessing, her message stings harder. When she opens “Values” with the lyric “I can’t afford a good night’s rest” it hits even harder because I’m still hanging in the humid incantations of “Soft.”
Still, what hits me the most about Feminine Care is the feeling that Lexagon is opening her diary and using this intensely personal narrative to connect, to broaden the impact. There are layers of anxiety-riddled throughout, but Lexagon’s determination to find solace despite all the forces aimed at her is invigorating. Confessions become declarations. Vulnerability is raw power.
Lucid, sultry whispers are like spiderwebs on “Hurricane,” the supernatural energy flowing like an enigmatic river of sweat. Questions about what it means to be cared for and what it means to care are woven together like silver aural threads of heartbreak, terror, and freedom, interlocked and unable to breathe on their own. This is a different kind of magic.
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