Sweet High Rise chronicles this journey of reaching outside of my self. When I learned – at a free school – that NC pride was born out of the protest and riots following the murder of two gay men on their way to a swimming hole in Durham I wrote Little River. Seeing the constant barrage of police, borne out of the institution of slavery, killing people of color, queer folk,and countless marginalized communities and getting away with it, I wrote “Get Ready”. How can any thoughtful human not be angry at the current state of our world? Those people know that they will stay in poverty under the current system while the word “progress” is used as a pat on the back for liberal policy makers and developers. The same story is repeated under a different guise; slavery still exists — it’s just more covert. Prisons still cage folks and make them invisible to any passersby attending expensive reproductions of The Lion King or whatever at the multi-million dollar theater across the street.
I’ve been in the South, and in Durham in particular, most of my life. I see the same things happening to my small town that I’ve read about for years in history books. Speedy gentrification is raising property taxes and kicking poorer folks further towards the outskirts of town. We know this. On this record, I’m telling stories. Stories about love, about abuse,about Durham’s brutal history with LGBTQ and police violence. I’m telling stories of my own,stories that I’ve encountered, stories that enrage me and that maybe not everyone knows.
These are reflections of a queer dirtbag in love, of owning the desire to kill all abusers, of small town break ups, of the pent up anxiety that comes being on the cusp of identifying as angry and of standing strongly as gender queer when I am misidentified as “she” or “he.” This record is a release.
I’m honored to have been able to place these ideas in the hands of musicians and pals like Will Hackney, Phil and Brad Cook, Matt McCaughan, Jon Ashley and Collier Reeves. I’m glad to be here and going further with friends. Thank you for helping me along the way.” – Kym Register (2016)