Behind The Tracks: The Menstrual Cramps - Antagonistic (Single) (2024)

Commenting on the new track, which charts vocalist Emilia Elfrida’s experiences of working in a homeless hostel during the pandemic, the singer says: “It’s about how I felt about everyone else who could work from home or be on furlough—learning a new skill, baking banana bread, writing a new album, drinking red wine. I resented everyone who wasn’t a key worker.”

“Working in the homelessness sector is a difficult job at the best of times, with the lack of support from the government, the lack of housing options for homeless people, the cost of living crisis, and the consistent underfunding across the sector. But during COVID each difficulty was vastly intensified. I didn’t know if the people I supported were going to die. I didn’t know if me and my colleagues were going to die.”

“I remember clearly, during a work meeting, a senior staff member talking about a lovely evening drinking red wine on their balcony whilst in a discussion with us frontline workers about a young mother, living in temporary accommodation, whose boiler had broken. This senior staff member didn’t class having any hot water or heating as an emergency, whilst there was an ongoing pandemic where cleanliness and washing your hands were key messages to stopping infection.”

“To me, this interaction summed up the stark contrast of people’s lives during COVID, the value of work, the virtue signalling of clapping for key workers and the dark depths of capitalism within the backdrop of a pandemic. This song is me trying to process and come to terms with the anger and trauma I experienced working through COVID and how this has shaped me as a person and as a support worker.”

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