The house was sold with all our things left insidе
You said it would be the end of my life
But at least I’m not dead inside
The aftermath of a battle is a grueling affair that leaves behind deep emotional wounds, scars, and psychological trauma. But when you throw in shame and exploitation, the process of rising from the ashes becomes even more complex. It demands a deep dive into the soul, a shedding of the former self, and a period of mourning for all that has been lost – not just the relationship, but the promises, hopes, dreams…and the person you no longer are. This transformative process is painful, but it is also the crucible from which one emerges stronger, wiser, and more resilient than ever before.
Queen Kwong is currently preening her proverbial phoenix plumes with “The Mourning Song,” a devastatingly personal power ballad about the all-encompassing grief, raw emotion, and bitterness following the one-two TKO of an acrimonious divorce/legal action and a deadly diagnosis.
But she is no victim. When injustice comes knocking, this queen channels the determination of Boadicea herself…whispering cutting barbs that slice an overblown male ego to shreds with surgical precision. “Back it up/Back to your prime/When was that, maybe 1999?/You were onstage living a monkey-do life/Another day, another new disguise.”
With fearless intensity, Carré recounts the painful process of facing betrayal and loss, emerging on the other side with a resounding resilience and unwavering talent. This track is a bold testament to the power of one’s own spirit and the necessity of self-reliance in the face of adversity. With its slinky haunting vocals and sweet-laced grit, “The Mourning Song” is a must-hear for anyone seeking to find empowerment in their darkest moments. Carré has truly outdone herself with this raw and emotional masterpiece.
Queer director Tammy Sanchez created a sensual, alluring video portraying Callaway as a dancer in an exotic club – a hotspot for judgment; a modern-day pillory, in some cases.
“I was a dancer in my early 20s, and though I felt like it was incredibly empowering, many people tried to make me feel ashamed for it,” Sanchez explains. “This video concept was born as a rejection of that notion. Originally, it was a rejection of shame and the mass cultural gaslighting women endure….Shame is a powerful tool used to silence people, especially women. When you factor in race, class, disability, queerness, the baffles become ever more oppressive. These systems rely on our shame and silence to exploit, abuse, and capitalize off of our bodies, art, style, and labor.”
With that in mind, Sanchez, a queer, femme visionary, intentionally assembled an all-female and non-binary crew, transforming the narrative of the exotic dancer from a cliché of vulnerability and objectification to one commanding respect and awe. “We removed the male gaze and replaced it with pride,” she explains staunchly. “We shot the video at Hollywood’s famous bikini bar Jumbo’s Clown Room last summer. Now that I’m on the other side of that, this video release means even more to me. It represents women’s power, artistic expression, and refusal to be quiet. It’s time to be fearless and proud.”
The collaboration between these two battle-scarred visionaries, who have both coolly survived the nightmare of personal attack, is nothing short of mesmerizing – and a sweet revenge. Watch below:
Taken from her universally acclaimed third album, Couples Only (out now via Sonic Ritual), Queen Kwong (a.k.a. Carré Kwong Callaway) is at her most emotionally raw and pointed, exposing herself not as a victim but as the one with the last laugh. Couples Only wanders through betrayal, loss, the realization of one’s mortality, and the impermanence of everything we know and cherish. Couples Only showcases her voice, and feminine power, with a notable cadre of contributing musician friends: The Cure’s Roger O’Donnell, Swans’ Suzette Kristof Hahn, and Blood Red Shoes’ Laura-Mary Carter. With this release, Carré sets the record straight, changes the paradigm, and is taking no prisoners.
Queen Kwong was discovered by Trent Reznor in 2005, who invited her to open Nine Inch Nails’ With Teeth tour, and again in 2009 and 2018. She has released two albums (Get a Witness in 2015 and Love Me to Death in 2018) and two EPs (2013’s Bad Lieutenant and 2019’s Oh Well).
Couples Only (Pre-save here) comes out on July 12th via Sonic Ritual. The album was produced by Joe Cardamone (The Icarus Line / Dark Mark vs Skeleton Joe).
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