Um, Jennifer? Can You “Cut Me Open”?

Words by Willa Rudolph

If you don’t already know about NYC-based, self-proclaimed trans slut rock band Um, Jennifer?, allow me to introduce you. Another Friday the 13th release, single “Cut Me Open” now has a fresh new visual to go with it, from Weird Sister Records–  

The punky indie duo kindly brings us into their world, “Baby, cut me open/ Take my blood in your mouth/ Won’t you stitch me up and/ Touch me inside and out/ Darlin’ eat my insides/ Don’t I make you insane?/ Don’t you want me closer/ Or are we playing a game?” the chorus asks, as buzzsaw guitars shred in the background. Um, Jennifer? members Fig and Leah successfully make you go “awww” with their palpable chemistry both as musicians and as friends. It’s a jump-around-yelling-with-happy/sad-tears-in-your-eyes kind of song. 

“Cut Me Open” followed widely loved lead single “Girl Class,” and is “is a plea to be eviscerated by love. It’s all the ways we hurt one another in our efforts to get closer, and how some of that pain can be pleasurable. Above all, it’s a love song,” says the band.

Also a totally playful and charming track, the anthemic “Girl Class” deals with learning and unlearning gender norms, investigating one’s own gender expression, and requests a class where you learn to be a girl, whatever that means. Fig and Leah are keenly aware of the silliness of such a request, and are quite intentional with their tongue-and-cheek sense of humor.

Both “Cut Me Open” and “Girl Class” are youthful and exploratory and give us an thrilling glimpse into the future of Um, Jennifer? They might be the only “trans slut rock band” I know of, and it’s exciting to see something new that fills a gap in punk rock today.

From Weird Sister Records: “Fig and Leah met at a party in Brooklyn. Leah wanted to hook up with Fig’s friend. Now they make music together for nobody except the vengeful god, Jennifer. Jennifer thinks their music sucks.”

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