LOVE//WARRIOR Frankie Simone and her local label Infinite Companion gave us a sneak peek of her debut EP back in April when the bombastic title track appeared on our 10-inch Record Store Day comp. Since then, Simone has been blessing us with pop anthems and accompanying videos, upping the sensual ante of her music thanks to delicious choreography and synchronized dance moves—shout out to her partner in crime, professional dancer Che Che Luna. But with the holidays around the corner, it’s time to slow the tempo a bit.
“I really wanted to thank my fans for all of their incredible support this year, so I decided to cover my favorite holiday classic, ‘The Christmas Song,’ with my own twist, of course,” Simone tells. “In my version, Santa is a badass femme and she and her bitches, kweens and baddies came to slay. I tend to question why things are ‘the way they are’ about pretty much everything in life, so why should my favorite holiday songs be any different? Although I'm a pretty nontraditional person, I am also that guy that starts listening to holiday music right after Halloween. And as much as I love it, I'm really tired of hearing the same handful of incredibly heteronormative and non-diverse songs on repeat. There are no songs that I know of in the holiday genre that even remotely reflect me, my community of misfits, or female empowerment for that matter—and I think it's about time we had one that did.”
Working with Graham Barton again (who also co-produced and engineered her LOVE//WARRIOR EP), the pair “had been talking about recording a holiday song for the past two years!” Simone says. It all started with a dark, brooding instrumental clip and culminated with a beautiful string arrangement from Phillip Peterson. And for Simone’s part, she’s “really excited to showcase a side of my voice that I feel like a lot of folks haven't heard yet.”
For the time being, her rendition of “The Christmas Song” is just a festive one-off, “although knowing myself, I'm sure it won't be long until I have a full-length holiday record. I will most definitely be one of 'those' artists—sorry not sorry.”
Back in the studio working on her full-length debut, “I’m really excited to have this season to go inwards and write and record a ton,” she tells. “I've been moving through a lot emotionally this past year—life has thrown some epic curveballs—but I'm choosing to see them as the universe gifting me opportunities for rapid growth. So my experiences this year are very heavily influencing this record. It's going to be more honest, intimate, and more me than I've ever shared.”
“The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year because it brings people together,” which is exactly why Simone is ready to share some joy with Portland at her Holigay Spectacular on Saturday, December 15 at Mississippi Studios. Joined by “an all-female, all-local, queer and allied artist lineup” featuring Blossom, Cristina Cano of Siren and the Sea, local burlesque star Zora Von Pavonine, Che Che Luna and Frankie's Kweens, this is her way of “bringing together all the Love Warriors of Portland” for “an epic party” as well as a good cause with a raffle benefiting the Q Center.
“I wanted to create an empowering space where any and all feel welcome—regardless of religion or identity. We all need more life, love and light this time of year, so this is my way of cultivating that.”