Album Review: Trixie Mattel – One Stone
There has never been and most likely never will be an artist like Trixie Mattel. The star; real name Brian Firkus, competed on season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and now finds herself a frontrunner in the AllStars edition of the show, whilst somehow also finding the time for a Viceland TV series. Trixie’s love of country music is part of what makes her style so unique, something evident throughout her upcoming album; One Stone.
Trixie’s comedic skills are second to none, and although One Stone conveys serious themes there is a tongue in cheek element present throughout this record. Opener Little Sister is an instant country classic, with strings framing Mattel’s exceptional voice. The lyrics effortlessly roll with the punches, making light of how it feels to grow up in small town Wisconsin. The frustration at growing up in such a place is framed not as a grudge to bear, but as a tool to elevate and improve. Break Your Heart is a little more fast-paced, but maintains the Dolly Parton-esque country roots that even a person with no interest in such a genre could still toe tap along to.
Things become a little more personal and emotional on Red Side Of The Moon, which foretells the story of Judy and her love for a special lady. Even at face value, it’s refreshing to hear a potentially queer love story play out in such a traditional format. The tender narrative that is unveiled throughout the track highlights the gentle softness of queer relationships that is so often overlooked in favour of overtly sexualised images for the male gaze.
Moving Parts is yet another highlight on what is an exceptional record. So many of Trixie’s thought processes are unique, likening growing up queer to struggling to find the right pieces until one day they magically slot into place for the better. Like the rest of the album, this track tackles more issues sincerely, but with a trademark charm that only Trixie can truly work.
It seems a travesty that One Stone is just 7 tracks long, as they are all so perfectly formed and well thought out. But closer Wind Up Man waves goodbye with an upbeat song and dance. Once again, it’s exciting as a queer person to hear about queer relationships through a softer lens and audio filter. There’s a romantic side to Trixie Mattel, and even though there’s a lot of make up involved; it never feels like she’s keeping anything from her listeners.
One Stone is an album by a drag queen; but it’s not a drag queen album. The situation is actually a lot more nuanced than that, the way Trixie separates each facet of her personality allows her considerable more depth and scope to elevate herself as an artist. One Stone is a joy from start to finish, highlighting queer relationships and struggles yet framing them in a way where they are finally the norm and not the exception. If there’s anything Trixie Mattel can’t do well, I’ve yet to discover it.