Patriarchy is a band that came out of the ashes of vocalist/songwriter/musician/filmmaker Actually Huizenga’s solo project under her first name. Huizenga had intended to quit music and pursue film in more earnest but Andrew Means of industrial group 3TEETH encouraged further musical endeavors and worked on production for the 2019 debut album by Patriarchy, Asking For It. The name Patriarchy may seem like an unusual choice for a musical project fronted by a charismatic woman but it was a name that subverted the meaning of the term and explored the more mythological roots of its place in modern culture as well as drawing upon and commenting on the nature of that power in society and in the personal, lived experience. The music sounds a little like an industrial dance band with an array of influences in the mix like the high end disco production and composition of Giorgio Moroder and Trent Reznor’s deep dive into the dark places of the psyche for inspiration in crafting his own soundscapes. The 2022 album The Unself finds the project embracing an almost polished synth pop sound without compromising its darkly vital creative instincts in presenting pain and struggle in a context that reveals the vulnerability inherent to opening up to ideas and subjects many people would prefer to avoid or keep hidden. Visually the band taps into similar spaces as those of The Cinema of Transgression, the complex personal mythological noir of David Lynch and the lurid and stark visuals and moods of 1980s slashers. The cover of The Unself depicts Huizenga in what might be considered fetish gear and holding a pig. It’s that striking dream imagery that captures well the style and layers of meaning to be found in the group’s song titles, its presentation of the music bridging camp and glam and industrial culture and horror cinema while drawing inspiration from the world’s various ancient and modern mythologies.
Listen to our interview with Actually Huizenga and “The Drummer” (who along with “The Guitarist” perform anonymously) on Bandcamp and witness Patriarchy in all its glory on tour now including a stop in Denver at the Hi-Dive on Monday, November 7, 2022 with Street Fever, Sell Farm and sets by the Kill You Club DJs. Follow Patriarchy at the links below and check out some of the band’s beautifully transgressive music videos beneath the links.
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