[Cover photo credit to Laura-Mary Carter]

After the release of her latest single “On The Run” featuring keys and synths by friend Roger O’Donnell (The Cure), Queen Kwong, (a.k.a. Carré Kwong Callaway) has shared the video for the single. “On The Run” is the second single off of her upcoming album Couples Only, out July 12 via Sonic Ritual.

For the “On The Run” music video, Queen Kwong takes a “dark, yet comedic aim at the superficialness of reality TV, specifically dating shows”. The video showcases drinking, partying, marriage proposals, however the dynamic shifts when Carré’s character gets involved.

Speaking of the video, Carré says:

The video was inspired by the TV franchise, Bachelor in Paradise —a reality show on which people go to Mexico to find their ‘soulmates’ and get engaged at the end. I used lines from episodes of the actual show in the video to spotlight the ridiculousness of the fantasized version of love that pop culture perpetuates. People want the fairy-tale, TV romance no matter who it’s with, whether it’s real or not.

Couples Only cover artwork by Laura-Mary Carter

A few years ago, the artist was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and told she may only have a decade left to live and shortly afterwards, he marriage also ended. Creating Couples Only was the result of these experiences, but her third album takes a broader approach to “facing the worst betrayals and accepting the deepest losses” in the acceptance of mortality and impermanence.

The album assembled contributing musicians including The Cure’s Roger O’Donnell (keyboards), Swans’ Kristof Hahn (lap steel) and Blood Red Shoes’ Laura-Mary Carter (backing vocals) who appear on assorted tracks on the upcoming LP. Joe Cardamone of The Icarus Line, and Tchad Blake (Arctic Monkeys, Elvis Costello, Fiona Apple) mixed the record.

Couples Only was entirely improvised and recorded on the spot. Nothing was pre-written lyrically or musically. For three weeks, Carré and longtime producer Cardamone crafted about one song a day, which would eventually be whittled down to the final 11 songs. 

She comments:

I don’t play music because it’s fun. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s for survival. I have to keep playing music because it’s my way of allowing myself to feel.