Images by Levon Baird
Despite aggressive claims of authenticity, it often seems as though the self-flagellations of Billie Eilish are being actively cultivated, and then marketed with impressive efficiency via social media (as opposed to the self-possessed empowerment messages of, say, Melanie Martinez). And although upon the recent release of his much-touted debut single “Boy With the Winfields and the Wild Heart,” Sydney upstart flowerkid (his stylization) found himself the latest still-just-a-teenager artist to be compared to Ms. Eilish, there is an immediately glaring difference between the two.
Indeed, haunted second single “Miss Andry” underscores the more tormentedly confessional nature of his songwriting, as opposed to the unabashed attention-seeking-ism of many of his young contemporaries. And as he intones the lyric, “Oh, I never hated you / I don’t even hate them / I just hate myself,” there is a keen sense of his anguished hesitancy in even delivering the words.
For those unaware, “misandry” (to which the title slyly refers) is the general contempt towards men, a rarely mentioned companion to misogyny, which is much more openly discussed, obviously.
“This song roots from a hatred and distrust for men that developed from such a young age,” explains Flynn Sant, the real person behind the flowerkid nom de guerre, and who also came out as trans just two years ago. “It isn’t your typical man hatred; I had to tackle the feeling of: I hate these boys and these men that have been in my life so much. Why do I envy them though?”
He also has a gift for conjuring lush but somber musical atmospherics around his words—while his voice seems to almost float spectrally above it all. The desolate, Madeleine Purdy directed video only serves to emphasize the themes of isolation and uncertainty.
“When I made the song, I was terrified because it was so truthful,” he recalls. “It was so raw. It was like ripping myself open for everyone to see. There’s this whole new level of anger to it that I don’t necessarily like to show. But I think being honest about it will help me resolve those feelings.”
Expect to hear much more from flowerkid much sooner than later.