Inspired by this year’s PRIDE celebration, The Farsighted is making a concerted effort to highlight LGBTQ+ artists more… but not just in June, but year round. To launch this spotlight, we return to a true legend and pioneer, Shawna Virago. While Shawna may be a new name to some, readers of this site or my contributions to the Spinema column on Cinapse will recognize her from coverage here of her single “Heaven Sent Delinquent” and my interview with her on Cinapse.
Whether fighting on front lines for LGBTQ+ rights, writing and performing kickass music, or coordinating one-of-a-kind film festivals, Shawna has been an out and proud trans pioneer in the arts for a long time. Being one of the first in her scene, she paved the way for many to embrace their true selves in outward, positive ways. Her entire presence exudes not only power and strength, but buckets and buckets of confidence and charisma. And her latest song is more proof of this.
I was broke and living in a haze
From my station in life
Trouble started when I slept with the mayor
Then the mayor’s wife
Next time I won’t fall for the line
“Trust me I love you for your mind”
A stripped down folk song, “High Road No. 6” is what this reviewer may call “alt-Americana”, with a unique alternative feel, a pop sensibility, and distinct influences from the world that houses Americana, country, and folk music. Like the folk tradition, the song tells a story set to music. As Shawna’s mind works in very cinematic ways, the song paints a pictures and, of course, is accompanied by a fantastic music video.
In addition to the music video, the song can be found at Bandcamp, Spotify, and Soundcloud. Having recently played The Future of Country is Queer couldn’t be more fitting… as this is a future for country music that we should all embrace. Unique, powerful, and gorgeous music with a DIY spirit and a middle finger in the face of those trying to continue oppressing and suppressing human rights based on their own hangups and prejudices.