Back in 2016 we wrote about Sugar Rush, a compilation from The Grey Estates released on Negative Fun Records, which collected an array of sweet covers from female/non-binary artists such as VSF favs Boosegumps, PONY, Sundae Crush and Kississippi. The release served as a celebration of what Lauren Rearick has achieved with The Grey Estates, as well as reinforcing her mission and why it’s so important. As we wrote in our original review: “While nobody is naive enough to think that one compilation and a dozen artists will ever be enough to win the big fight, it’s just possible that an accumulation of such small victories could eventually build into the coup de grâce for this discriminatory industry.”

Well, great news! Next month sees the release of Sugar Rush Volume Two, a brand new collection of songs to be sold in support of Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer. QORDS is an overnight camp for queer or gender non-conforming young people from the American South. Using music and community as forces of queer empowerment, the organisation helps create intersectional spaces where people can pursue self-discovery safely and, most importantly, meet others from the entire queer spectrum, be they lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, or whatever else. In other words, a pretty cool place indeed.

We’re delighted to share a new track from the release, one from another of our favourites, Lily Mastrodimos’ Long Neck. Relying on nothing beyond acoustic guitar, the song opens with an immediately warm and wistful sound, Mastrodimos’ vocals pitched somewhere between fondness and heartbreak, a not entirely uncomfortable place where affection is allowed to linger. Eventually, the guitar is joined by some fleshed out instrumentation, including some whimsical whistling, making for a dreamy, charming close where loss looms light and loose, free of any regret.

“I thought he and I were so alike
same dumb smile with a half closed eye
same big heart and love of all things sweet
same crooked teeth
I got lost in that reflection”

Sugar Rush Volume Two is set for release on the 31st October and you can pre-order it now from The Grey Estates Bandcamp page. If you missed it the first time around, the last few tapes of the first volume are available from Negative Fun Records.

Artwork by Kassie Salas