Pascal Stevenson’s solo moniker Fashion Club feels especially appropriate on her latest single, “Pantomime.” Under squealing synths layered like a garish scarf, she explores the metaphorical costumes we wear in society, especially to associate with progressive ideals, whether they’re authentic or not—a thematic cornerstone of the Moaning bassist’s debut solo record, Scrutiny. “Pantomime” was the first song she wrote for the album, cutting right to its dreamy post-punk heart.
“It’s about different kinds of social performance, and how we weigh our needs against others,” Stevenson says. “A lot of people advocate for marginalized groups in their public lives, but then don’t make any effort to look inward and address their own harmful behavior in their private lives.” Or, as she sings it in the opening lines of “Pantomime:” “How deeply your morality sways / When confronted by your day-to-day.”
Though she’s performed in the past with Girlpool, Cherry Glazerr, and SASAMI (who plays some synth on the record), Scrutiny is Stevenson’s first project as lead songwriter. The songs, including previously released singles “Feign for Love” and “Failure,” were written for instrumentals Stevenson composed while on a 2018 European tour with Moaning, which she then revisited in early 2019 during a period of self-reflection. The full record will be released June 17 on Felte Records, and you can stream “Pantomime” below.