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Taken from Vanyaland (Jun 09, 2022)

Queen Kwong goes with the flow on 'Without You, Whatever'

by Michael O'Connor Marotta

Video still
Video still

There's something purely magical about Queen Kwong's new single "Without You, Whatever," an enchanting dose of lush dream-pop that sees light of day today (June 9) via its Mimi Supernova-directed video. And there are two pretty interesting anecdotes lurking just under its intoxicating surface: One, it's possibly the first "pop"-leaning song written by Los Angeles artist and songwriter Carré Kwong Callaway; and two, it was never intended to appear on Queen Kwong's forthcoming third album, Couples Only, due out July 12 via Sonic Ritual.

"Initially, it wasn't even going to be on the record," says Callaway. "When I recorded it, I was just trying to entertain [producer] Joe [Cardamone] by singing in falsetto and trying to imitate Bowie. When I sent the folder of tracks to [engineer] Tchad Blake, I said 'Oh, don't bother mixing 'Without You, Whatever' because I'm not going to release it,' and Tchad basically said, 'WTF? That's your single! It's nearly impossible for me to sing because it's so high and out of my range, but I like that it's extremely different from anything I've ever released."

It's also one of the best tracks of 2022 we've heard so far, possessing a dream-like art-pop quality that allows us to swandive into repeated listens without ever feeling smothered. The aforementioned music video, viewable below, was filmed across the Atlantic during Callaway's visit to Brighton see close friend and collaborator Laura-Mary Carter of Blood Red Shoes, who co-stars in the clip.

"We shot this video while I was visiting Laura-Mary in England," says Callaway. "She's one of my best friends and we also have a podcast together (Never Meet Your Idols), so having her co-star in it just added to the fun. Mimi Supernova directed and shot it - we've been friends for years, but this was our first time working together. We filmed it the first two days of my trip, so I was really jet-lagged and felt delirious, but that added to the wackiness of the video."

She adds: "We used whatever was lying around the house - rubber gloves, vacuums, fake flowers, etc.- to stage mundane domestic scenes with hints of disturbances or discomfort. Mimi has a great eye, and we have a lot of respect for each other, so the process was totally painless. Usually, making music videos is very emotional and draining for me, but this was the opposite. We just hung out, drank wine, and had fun."

So that's why it's so intoxicating. Get into it below.




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