The expression “tailor-made” is defined as made or fitted to a particular purpose with a tailor’s care and style. It’s created to fit the needs or specifications of a particular situation, object or person making it seem as though it was made that way. And in honor of June approaching, Rascal Miles “Tailor-Made” accentuates this idea and applies it to their own personal experiences with transitioning. It’s intimate, sensitive but most importantly, powerful.
Songwriting is Rascal Miles’ greatest strength and it clearly shows through the set up of each lyric. There isn’t one line in this song that doesn’t exude strong imagery. Paired with easy strums of guitar, light piano chords and vocal harmonies, there is lots of room for creativity to seep out. In the first verse, the singer sets the tone of how it feels before undergoing the transformation. They compare themselves to many things such as a pig going to the slaughter, a butterfly wrapped in a web then to a synthetic cocoon and an architect’s blueprint. Already signing off the paperwork that try to convince them to back out, they have already made up their mind and nothing is going to change that. These lyrics allow the listener to not only vividly imagine each metaphor but also feel similar emotions Rascal Miles does. With relatability and empathy being the goal for good storytelling, they’ve made it easy for the listener to emerge themselves in the same state of mind.
“Tag my ear with my new number // this little pig awaits the slaughter // and as they rolled me to my new carving block // I swear I saw a pin drop”
Once we’ve reached the middle of the song, there is no going back now. After the countdown, a crescendo leads up to the final transformation with the guitar strumming harder and louder. This really shows the how much energy and determination they have dedicated to recreating themselves. One detail I loved was the accompanying sound of a spindle spinning in the background. Adding this really connects the two verses together and ties the song together nicely. In this part, they sing, “The sculptor picks up the scalpel // the butcher peels back my skin” which refers back to the comparisons made in the first verse and indicates that the wait is over. They becomes a blank slate that is unrestricted to any mold. Nothing is holding them back from becoming the truest version of themselves. My favorite lyric in this song is “Leveling mountains with dynamite sticks” because it’s such a poetic way to put into words the parts of themselves that they’re changing permanently.
Towards the end of the song, the tempo reverts to how it was in the beginning except for this time, they are different. The forceful buildup in the middle is over now. After facing the intensity of what feels like a rebirth, both physically and emotionally, the familiarity of the slower tempo feels like peace. They are sure of who they are and finally have the chance to accentuate their most authentic self on their own terms.