Earlier this week, a gift was bestowed upon us all. Yes, I’m talking about the second release, from contemporary prophet, cult-leader, friend and goddess, the one and only Miss Lynks Afrikka HRH. ‘Str8 Acting’ is an unapologetic dance anthem, a 147bpm frenzied dissection of popular house music that’s impossible not to groove to. The rousing chorus of “Hot straight boys! Who like hot straight girls!” had last week’s sweat-drenched audience at Dot to Dot Festival, jumping up and down, screeching, with fists pumping in the air. It’s joyous, it’s simple, but then… maybe it isn’t?
With ‘Str8 Acting’, the follow up single to their red-hot debut ‘Don’t Take it Personal’, Lynks is here to do more than make you worship them. The heart of the song is a deconstruction of the glorification of ‘straight-acting’ men in queer culture. The retelling of a night at a tacky, sweaty, sexually predatory straight club looks at “straight culture” from the warped perspective that society views queer culture through. It’s depressingly relatable, funny and sometimes bittersweet. The lyrics “drinking cold, cold beer in a hot straight club, it’s a lot like a pub but with slightly less chairs” makes me giggle again and again. Contrastingly the lines “don’t you dare try to hit on my friend, motherfucker, I will end you and then some comprendé?”, makes me feel strong and sad and angry. I can’t even begin to count the nights where drunk and confident I’ve push back against the poorly dressed straight boy who’s grinding on my unwilling friend. It’s the unfortunate and mundane reality of straight culture, that over the years bludgeons you into a numbness to and tolerance of utter bullshit. But yet, somehow this doesn’t diminish the song’s playfulness. If anything, the tinge of anger combined with witty lyrics, urgently breathlessly delivered, and makes it a LGBTQ+ anthem that’s desperately needed.
When asked about the inspiration behind the track Elliot Brett (Bristol based producer and Lynk’s alleged alter ego) had this to say:
“The community constantly tells us we need to embrace our queerness and yet simultaneously there’s this total fetishisation of The Straight Man to the extent that every third Tinder or Grindr bio you scroll past will have ‘str8 acting looking for the same’ or some shit written in it. It’s totally fucked. With this track I wanted to try and answer a question that has been with myself, and I’m sure many other queer people, since first coming out; “why the fuck should I ever want to be straight acting?”
It's been a great year for Lynks, since their debut in a mysterious basement gig somewhere in the depths of Hotwells (read about it here), they’ve continued to make strides, and ‘Str8 Acting’ is the next perfectly formed knot under their belt. They’ve worked their way, sponges and plastic bags in tow, across the Bristol scene with shows at The Crofter’s Rights, Hy-Brazil Music Club, Dare To, The Old England, Dialogue and a sold-out single launch at The Love Inn. Thankfully for the rest of the country, the cult of worship has spread to shows at iconic queer London venues (including The Glory and Dalston Superstore) and last summer’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Lynks’ final blessing bequeathed upon us is their current live show ‘The Church of Lynks Afrikka’. There’s baptism, communion, confession, sweat, dancing until your legs hurt and pure unadulterated bliss. If it doesn’t sound like something, you’d enjoy then stop reading this review, take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why you hate happiness. Otherwise, my friend, you owe it to yourself to witness divine glory firsthand at Spinny Nights #17.
Find out more about Lynks Afrikka’s next on congregation at the Windmill Brixton on the 20th of June here.
Listen to ‘Str8 Acting’ here.