This ain’t no house of style
Better get out your phones and start to dial
What the F^&! rhymes with punk?”

If you follow or (hopefully) are involved with the New York City music scene, the name SSION should sound familiar. Formed in Kansas City in 1996 with Cody Critcheloe at the gender-stripping helm, SSION’s name has sky-rocketed from the queer underground to relative major city fame (their little cameo in CSS’s summer jam “City Grrl” helped, too). I’ve been an avid listener for a little over a year now since my good friend introduced me to them, and it’s always a good time when their tracks surprise me over shuffle.

Pronounced “shun,” SSION’s whole aesthetic is refreshing in a scene where authenticity is as hard to come-by as a track without some other artist’s sample. Critcheloe’s look is both masculine and feminine; so much so that he transcends the gender gamut and just is. Throw in a little bit of BOY London punk, ska, and Freddie Mercury influences and you’ve got Cody. This undefinable mixture of a being continues to deliver solid tracks and EP’s that are both dance-inducing and chilled out. Slurring over his words like semi-drunk xanax cocktail, “LISTEN 2 THE GRRRLS” is the first track off SSION’s 2011 release, “BENT”. It’s disco, it’s funk, it’s punk, it’s soul; this cacophony of genres come together in this track to work you up and get you moving. Groovy seems like a tacky word, but I feel like it’s oddly appropriate for this. It has good vibes pumping through the falsetto chorus and spoken-word interludes.

SSION is all about the performance. Their music’s refusal to be pinned down translates into each band member’s being. Listening to tracks like this; tracks that get down into your bones, free you up and provide a space to perform. Music is, afterall, a performance and we’re all actors/actresses in the production. Sometimes, though, we need something or someone like Critcheloe to be bold enough first for us to let go.