Washington, D.C. experimental electronic duo Stronger Sex drape languid lyrical grandiosity over skittering jungle percussion and plump, resonant bass. Their second full length release, There Is No Stronger Sex, bathes luxuriously in the tension between plastic neon synth meandering and gently pounding metronomic motoric rhythm. Frontpersons Leah Gage and Johnny Fantastic sprinkle baroque melodic pixie dust over songs that challenge listeners to confront their own preconceived notions of self-image, romance and gender.
"At first glance, it appears that There Is No Stronger Sex, the second full-length release from experimental duo Stronger Sex, traffics in binaries. The shimmering pop songs drag listeners toward the dance floor, while the lyrics encourage introspection, examining conversion therapy, dating in D.C., and mental health. But, much like binaries themselves, that would be a drastic oversimplification. It’s an electro-pop album with plenty of nods to EDM. The album is a deep dive into Johnny Fantastic (Br’er, Loi Loi) and Leah Gage’s (BRNDA) personal lives. It’s neither of these things. It’s both. It’s more.
Riffing on the “stronger/fairer” dichotomy of the male/female sex binary, resistance is built into the album’s title and the band’s very name. “There is no stronger sex” initially seems to suggest that neither men nor women are stronger than the other, that there’s a level of equality there. One is simply not stronger than the other. But that doesn’t really get to the heart of the issue, as “there is no stronger sex” could almost be shortened down to “there is no sex,” pushing aside man/woman and female/male as ways of discussing strength and identity and suggesting that, perhaps, we’re all strong, no matter where we fall on the gender spectrum." - Keith Mathias
Both born into lives filled with music, Fantastic and Gage followed similar paths leading to their serendipitous first meeting in the kitchen of a DC house venue. Gage began playing cello at age 3, studied voice at conservatory, and played drums for multiple D.C. bands including BRNDA. Fantastic started on their grandfather’s piano punching out video game melodies by ear, eventually studying saxophone, guitar, and bagpipes. Both active in the D.C. scene, they were fans of each other’s work long before they decided to collaborate on Stronger Sex.
Initially an amorphous solo project of Fantastic’s with ever changing names, members, set lists, and styles, with the addition of Gage Stronger Sex morphed into an electro-exotic experimental post-croon cabaret with a reputation for turning stiff, cross-armed crowds into body positive dance parties, no matter the venue; from the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage to mud-caked D.I.Y. basements, and everywhere in between.