Alter Boy seek belonging with their powerful new single ‘Act of God’

Sextet of local legends, Alter Boy, comprising three deaf/hard-of-hearing members, continue to bring their experiences to the fore through their dark, sparkling pop hits – all performed in Auslan.

Banding together within Perth’s deaf community in 2019, Molly/Aaron (vocals), Jack Meakins and Laura Bullock (Auslan signers) drew inspiration to create a music project to rid misconceptions of their connection to music and promote inclusivity.

Turning traditional expressions of pop music on its head, Alter Boy’s combination of chaotic live performances featuring transgender, disabled bodies and carefully considered and dazzling looks serve the band’s collective motivation to challenge the status quo.

Drawing on myriad inspirations from James Blake to Banks to London Grammar, Alter Boy mastered their 2020 musical output and fast became favourites on our personal playlists with Bad Dream Break In, Glitter, and Section 504.

Their signature lyrics conveying hope and purpose married with intricate melodies and whispered vocals extends to their new single, Act of God.

Referencing the unjust socio-political system operating under the guise of a punishing God or apparent misfortune, Act of God explores the internalisation of systematic issues for deaf/hard-of-hearing individuals.

The team explain Act of God delves into the childhood experience of band member Jack who, like many other deaf/hard-of-hearing individuals, was unable to find his supportive community – where one can call home. Powerfully portrayed and performed in the video clip, this devastating reality restricted him from experiencing a sense of belonging and struggle with self-identity.

“The moment we realise that we have internalised external systems of oppression, we can begin to resolve the perception of living at fault, experience a revival of self, access the power of community, and point the finger back towards the system,” said Molly/Aaron.

From relying on strong beats and drums, cadence, and body language, each deaf/hard-of-hearing band member’s experience with music varies, welcoming and celebrating the wide spectrum of musical interpretation from the deaf/hard-of-hearing communities. In true Alter Boy form, they celebrate their individuality by expressing some lyrics exclusively in Auslan: Auslan secrets, as they say.

Amongst Alter Boy’s signature sounds and deaf-accessible representation, their debut EP, produced by Andrew Wright at Forest Studio and set to be released on Friday, September 10, will surprise and challenge audiences by subverting the traditional music experience, flipping the script, and alienating the hearing “listener”.

One secret worth sharing is Alter Boy will be touring this September and October, performing at various cities and towns in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia.

Catch Alter Boy around Australia this September, including Oct 16th at Busselton’s Raising The Vibe Festival and Oct 23rd at Fremantle Arts Centre.

For tickets and full tour dates, head to

OIP Staff, image: Claudine Blondeau

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