gloriously amoral; sexually voracious
The Long Blondes tell the truth. ‘Kate Jackson strikes me as the kind of girl you don’t want to be friends with.’ Damn right. The Kate Jackson of these songs is bold, predatory: gloriously amoral, sexually voracious. Take ‘Once and Never Again’. A casual listener would consider this a supportive soliloquey from an older woman to a younger one:
’19, You’re only 19 for god’s sake, oh you don’t need a boyfriend...’
The young woman’s been self-harming because her boyfriend’s gone out with his mates instead of coming round as promised; the narrator’s telling her to set herself free, not cut herself, not take more time off school because of this loser, etc. But this is no gung-ho girlpower anthem: it’s a tale of predatory lesbian desire.
There’s a lascivious slippage half-way through the song. ‘Oh, I could show you the ropes’, Kate implores. A note of rapaciousness sets in as Kate insists she’ll only have to do it once (the ‘once and never again’ of the song’s title); the song closes with a twist as the repeated refrain ‘I know how it feels to be your age’ morphs into ‘How I’d love to feel a girl your age’, and the listener’s left with the discomfiting sense that the narrator is using the girl’s emotional vulnerability as a means of manipulating her way into the girl’s pants. DARK!