Los Angeles four-piece Agender is back with another taste of their upcoming sophomore album No Nostalgia with the release of the exquisitely sensual, queer disco track “Top Bottom Top.” Against the dizzying clamor of insatiable cowbells, riveting synths, and pulsating bass the new single takes the band’s punk sentiments into a delightful new direction. Leading the pack is the breathy droning of lead singer Romy Hoffman who unloads the song’s title as this emphatic mantra while keeping it all buoyant is bassist Cristy Michel, drummer Christy Greenwood, and synth dazzler Sara Rivas. The song coalesces around its impossibly dance-ready hooks and its message of celebrating all forms of love: especially the physical.
But it’s the music video for “Top Bottom Top,” directed by queer filmmaker Graham Kolbeins and produced by both Michel and Luka Fisher, that brings the song’s illustrious vision to life. There’s something so deliciously jarring and soothing about that initial shot of Hoffman singing from beneath a stretch length of pink latex, only her mouth visible and moving as she exhales the song’s title.
But the rest of the video is an absolute feast for the senses as Kolbeins lens catches Agender playing inside a dungeon-like club filled with queer L.A. couples. The video is a who’s-who of queer icons and performers, from 81-year-old dominatrix Sheree Rose — who can be seen giving Hoffman a spanking during one of the chorus lines — as well as activists Rudy Bleu, actor Byron Adams, dancer Alucard Mendoza, writer Miss Misty Page, producers Jonathan Andre Culliton, and director Masha Ko.
“‘Top Bottom Top’ is a disco-punk bop. A straight-up, no-frills jam,” says Hoffman. “It’s an homage to queer sexuality and power dynamics. Perhaps we’ve transcended this terminology, but it’s still important to celebrate these specific binaries. Words are indicative of the times and the times are captured by a sound, and this song’s sound and sentiment evoke the post-punk/dance-punk of the 80s. A steady, repetitive vocal line and stomping bass propel the verse into a feel-good chorus that one might have heard in the Chicago House era.”