Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
The knives are always suitably sharpened, ready for the need to arise. They don't come out until they're needed, but they seem to find themselves out of their sheaths more often than not are there are schemers and charmers, liars and snakes roaming the hills of White Dress songs. Arum Rae, the Austin, Texas, singer and songwriter behind the duo, wells up inside with the kinds of burns that cannot stay there. They let themselves the hell out. They can't be contained. It would be dangerous. They lurk and then they strike. Rae's eyes can be crystal blue and then in a second, turn into an apocalyptic red and orange sunset, one that's suggesting that somewhere over there in the west things are getting rough and we all have the feeling that they're going to be blowing across the sky during the overnight hours, getting to us by daybreak or sooner. She's been messed with by the kinds of people who you never forget. They're the ones that make for fascinating psychoanalysis. What made them do the things they did? Why would they have ever thought that such a thing would work? Has it worked for them in the past? How soon before they try such a thing again and who's next on their list?
"The Kill" is an especially telling tale of a woman who's taken full advantage of. She's just sitting prey for a heartless, devouring beast of a guy. There sounds to be plenty of superficiality involved and a disregard for feelings. Rae sings, "He doesn't want me/He's just in it for the kill," cutting a line that smokes out of the speaker, along with the kind of kick ass garage-rock blues that Jack White would drop a jaw around, and doesn't take us into victim territory. She seems to be playing as many games as that foolish and young boy could ever play. He's the sap and the sucker. May she have mercy on his soul or may she make very deliberate and exacting revenge on that stupid soul. She seems to jerk along with the ride as much as the other does, absorbing any of the blows that others might get knocked out cold by, instead deflecting much of their power, feeding off of it. White Dress material is empowering and full of the breaks. They are the aspects of everything that happens - maybe not for a reason, maybe not for good, maybe not for bad - that can be used as perverse inspiration -- the sadness that can bring on betterment, or a hardened shell. If she can understand that guys are out for the kill and the kill alone, she can game the system and make it something of a riot act, look deep into the eyes of a weaker person who thinks that the exact opposite is true. This is the scene of the mental bloodbath. She wins.