piglet has been through a lot. An Irish artist in South London, a trans male navigating a country in the throes of a culture war, his songwriting is riddled with emotion, and hard-won wisdom. Stylistically, he’s out there on his own – penetrative insight, matched melodies that are sharply hewn, raw, and destined to stay loaded in your sub-conscious.
Real name Charlie Loane, he won our heart with last year’s ‘seven songs’ EP, and returns once more with new single ‘building site outside’. A song about the trans experience, it zeroes in with incredible accuracy on the micro-aggressions and tiny barriers placed around trans people in our society.
An empathetic piece of songwriting, it comes from the heart, with piglet recalling his own experiences going to his local pharmacy to pick up a testosterone prescription. He recalls: “I’d been through the bulk of the ridiculous assault course of NHS assessments, a process which took at least three years (which sounds like – and was – a long time, but by today’s standards would be considered a mad stroke of luck).”
The song is flecked with acoustic tones, with piglet’s eagle-eyed vocal focussing on the reaction of the person behind the counter, when they spot his prescription. He says: “We had always had a very nice relationship previously, I’d been in and out of the pharmacy every couple of weeks for the previous year and a half and we would always have a nice chat and a bit of a laugh.”
“When I handed her the prescription for testosterone her attitude towards me changed completely , she no longer looked me in the eye or made small talk, instead staring straight through me as if I wasn’t there.”
A song that looks at the hurt we impact on one another, it emerges as a quiet plea for tolerance – and adds further weight to piglet’s status as one of the finest voices in London right now.
Photo Credit: Holly Whitaker