Pansy Boys Call on the Pop Gods

Pansy Boys Call on the Pop Gods

BYJustin MoranApr 03, 2024

Canadian twins Joel and Kyle Curry claim to have called upon the Pop Gods when writing their new Pansy Boys single, “Belt Loop.” Indeed, the result of their holy collaboration checks all the boxes of a perfect pop tune, with movie quality melodrama like “falling in love with strangers” and a “horny undertone” to the hook: “One hand on my neck/ Two fingers through my belt loop,” they sing amongst sunny guitar strums. This marks their first release in years, following 2020’s Seasons of Doubt EP, and represents a post-pandemic refresh for the artists — one with more “spontaneity” and “joy” in their songwriting process. As they gear up for their self-described incoming “pop star era,” PAPER caught up with the Curry brothers, below.

It's been a few years since you've released music. What happened during the break and how do you think it impacted the music you're putting out now?

Truthfully, it seems like we experienced a bit of creative stagnancy during the pandemic and somewhat afterwards. It took us a second to figure out where we wanted to go with the music, as our tastes and interests have naturally shifted in the past few years. Basically, the ennui of everyday life was not feeling very inspiring at the time. In the last year or so we’ve changed our approach to songwriting — more spontaneity, more joy, more bop-focused.

How do you feel "Belt Loop" is the right introduction to where you're at, creatively and musically, today?

As Lana sings, "When you know, you know." Immediately after we wrote this track we felt like it was starting a new chapter. Listening back to the track, after feverishly working on it one afternoon, we could tell something had shifted in us creatively. For the first time in a while we were excited about the music, playing it on our own time, and we are still actively blasting it. Kyle always says that the Pop Gods were in the room with us that day. The track has added a bit of lightness to our musical landscape, some sugar scattered amongst the (more typically) solemn tone.

Why do you think you're drawn to nostalgia as a point of reference and musical tool?

Recently we prefer to tread carefully when it comes to nostalgia as it can sort of be a trope. We embrace the cheesiness, but not when it feels too calculated. We’ve always been preoccupied, sometimes at an unhealthy level, with the idea of time fleeting and the time we have left, which naturally has guided us to write about themes of longing and nostalgia. On "Belt Loop" we wanted to capture the feeling of "movie moments" when falling in love — hearing a certain song in a car that passes by and right on cue the rain starts to fall. The melodramatic moments of falling in love with strangers.

How'd you arrive at the hook, "One hand on my neck/ Two fingers through my belt loop."

Obviously there is a horny undertone to that line. We were picturing being at a party and someone pulling you in closer by the belt loop. Visuals of looping your fingers through the belt loop of a man in baggy denim pants were front of mind. That was the first line we started with and we built the world around it from there.

What was the process working with Alex Lane on production?

Alex was visiting us from Montreal, we spent his final morning in town playing around with ideas. Usually we bring songs fully built to him, but this time he brought the guitar line to us and it opened up a whole new way of writing songs for us. We came up with the belt loop idea an hour before his train was leaving and luckily we wrote it in a flash. It all started pouring out of us quickly, for a change. We’ve been dear friends with Alex for a decade now, which makes creating music with him so easy and comfortable, and that is such a luxury.

How do you feel the video complements or amplifies the song's message? Are the cows important to this?

Angus McMaster, the video director, and us knew we wanted to create something based off of mood rather than narrative. We decided this would be the perfect chance to debut our rural Canadian era. We knew we wanted it to involve movement beyond just the two of us, so we called on a chorus of cows. Turns out Angus’ neighbour was a cattle farmer named Cliff, who graciously let us frolic in the pasture all day long. The video matches the warmth and simplicity of the track, sort of feeling like the perfect Sunday.

What's coming next from Pansy Boys?

We plan on dropping some more singles in the near future: pop star era incoming. We just really want to have fun with the whole project, writing songs for both ass-shaking moments and crying on the bus ride home moments. We are going to film some live sessions, perhaps at a church or in a pickup truck.

Photography: Kirk Lisaj